Fleeing & Eluding

Fleeing & Eluding or Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding in Florida

Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, also called “Fleeing and Eluding”, occurs when a driver fails to stop or stay stopped when ordered to stop by an authorized law enforcement officer. Fleeing and Eluding is a serious criminal offense with severe penalties that include mandatory revocation of the driver’s license, possible forfeiture of the car used to flee, and prison time and fines. Adjudication as a “Felon” is mandatory if convicted. If you are charged with Fleeing and Eluding, you should consult an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach County have seen countless residents charged with Fleeing and eluding. Do not let a charge of fleeing and eluding damage your record or your future.

Definition of Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, as defined by § 316.1935, Florida Statutes, include the following offenses:

(1) § 316.1935 (1): Fleeing and Eluding: When ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer, willfully refusing or failing to stop or stopping and then willfully fleeing

(2) § 316.1935 (2) Fleeing and Eluding Siren and Lights Activated: When ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer in a prominently marked patrol vehicle with siren and lights, willfully refusing or failing to stop

(3) § 316.1935 (3): Fleeing and Eluding Siren and Lights Activated with High Speed or Reckless Driving: When ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer in a prominently marked patrol vehicle with siren and lights:

(a) Driving away at high speed or in a manner that shows a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property or driving away at high speed; or

(b) Driving away at high speed or in a manner that shows a wanton disregard for the safety, causing any injury or death to another person

(4) § 316.1935 (4) Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding: Is unlawfully leaving or attempting to leave the scene of an accident having been ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer, and willfully refusing or failing to stop, or stopping as ordered and then willfully fleeing, and as a result:

(a) Caused injury to another person or damage to property belonging to another person, committing Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding; or

(b) Caused serious bodily injury or death of another person, committing Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding with Serious Bodily Injury

For Fleeing and Eluding, or Fleeing and Eluding with Siren and Lights Activated, the State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following three (3) elements of the crime:

(1) The defendant was operating a vehicle upon a street or highway in Florida; and

(2) Either an authorized law enforcement officer ordered the defendant to stop or to remain stopped –or- the law enforcement officer was in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed and with the siren and lights activated; and

(3) The defendant knew he or she had been ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer, and:

(a) Willfully refused or failed to stop the vehicle in compliance with the order; or

(b) Having stopped the vehicle, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude the officer

For Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer with Siren and Lights Activated with High Speed or Reckless Driving, the State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all three (3) elements described above and one (1) of the following elements:

(4)(a) During the course of fleeing or attempting to elude, the defendant drove at high speed or in any manner demonstrating a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or

(4)(b) During the course of fleeing or attempting to elude, the defendant drove at high speed or in any manner demonstrating a wanton disregard for safety that resulted in causing bodily injury or property damage, or serious bodily injury or death

For Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding, the State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the four (4) elements described above, and also the following additional element:

(5) The defendant was unlawfully leaving or attempting to leave the scene of an accident and in fleeing or eluding caused injury or property damage, or serious bodily injury or death

Penalties for Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

In addition to the penalties described below, for any conviction of Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, the drivers license is revoked for not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years, and the vehicle used in Fleeing and Eluding is deemed contraband and subject to forfeiture.

(1) Fleeing and Eluding is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 as provided in § 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(2) Fleeing and Eluding with Siren and Lights Activated is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 as provided in § 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(3) Fleeing and Eluding with Siren and Lights Activated and High Speed or Reckless Driving:

(a) Without bodily injury or property damage, is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(b) Causing bodily injury or property damage, or serious bodily injury or death, is a first degree felony punishable by a minimum of 3 years and by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(4) Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, leaving or attempting to leave the scene of an accident:

(a) Causing Bodily Injury is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(b) Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death is a first degree felony punishable by a minimum of 3 years and by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

Note: Any defendant previously convicted of any combination of two or more felonies in Florida who is subsequently convicted of another felony is subject to enhanced penalties or a mandatory minimum prison term as provided in § 775.084.

Defenses to Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

(1) The law enforcement vehicle was unmarked with no agency insignia or jurisdictional markings

(2) The law enforcement vehicle’s lights and sirens were not activated

(3) The driver failed to stop immediately because it was unsafe and wanted to find a more safe, better lit place to stop

(4) The driver failed to stop immediately because of an emergency or other situation that caused the driver not to stop

(5) Equipment failure

(6) The driver was not attempting to flee or elude and the driver’s speed was within posted limits

(7) The driver that drove off was unaware of the order to stop and was not the same driver who was ordered to stop – mistaken identity

Examples of Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

(1) A driver traveling at 75 MPH in a 55 MPH zone sees a police car driving in the opposite direction so the driver accelerates to get away but the police car u-turns and activates its siren and lights attempting to apprehend the speeder

(2) A driver in attempting to flee from a police car jumps the curb and hits a utility pole

(3) A driver in attempting to flee from a police car runs a stop sign and hits another car injuring the passenger

(4) A driver involved in an accident flees the scene of the accident after a law enforcement officer orders the driver to stay put

Contact Us

If you have been charged with the crime of Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach Count, or all three in a long police chase, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.