Florida Fleeing to Elude
Florida Fleeing to Elude
Palm Beach and Broward County Attorneys for Fleeing to Elude Charges
If a police officer is pursuing a suspect, Florida law requires that the person stop. If he or she does not, the law makes it a serious crime. Fleeing to elude a law enforcement office is a felony offense, and can result in time in prison and heavy fines, even if the suspect is not convicted or even charged with the offense for which police were pursuing him or her.
West Palm Beach Fleeing to Elude Lawyer
If you are charged with Fleeing to Elude or another serious traffic crime in Palm Beach County or Broward County, then contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Call us at (561) 557-8686 to discuss your case and how we can fight these serious charges.
With offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, we represent clients on serious traffic offenses, like fleeing to elude, throughout Palm Beach and Broward Counties, including Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines, Boynton Beach and Hollywood.
Information on Fleeing to Elude Charges in Florida
- Penalties for Fleeing to Elude
- Different Types of Fleeing to Elude Crimes in Florida
- Driver License Revocation for Fleeing and Eluding
The penalties for fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer depend on the way the offense is charged.
- Without any aggravating factors, fleeing and eluding is charged as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- If it is alleged that the fleeing to elude involved reckless driving or a high speed chase then the offense is reclassified as a second degree felony. This form of fleeing to elude is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- If the act of fleeing to elude resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, then the offense is reclassified to a first degree felony. This version of aggravated fleeing to elude is punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison and a $15,000 fine.
Florida law provides for a number of different types of fleeing to elude crimes in Florida. The different versions of the crime depend on the way it occurred, and whether certain aggravated factors were proven.
- The term “operator” means any person who is in “actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon the highway [or who is exercising control over or steering a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle].”
- The term “street or highway” means the entire width between boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.
Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer § 316.1935(1), Fla. Stat.
§ 316.1935(1), Fla. Stat., sets out the elements of fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer. Those elements require the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office to prove beyond a reasonable doubt of the following:
- The Defendant was operating a vehicle upon a street or highway in Florida.
- A duly authorized law enforcement officer ordered the defendant to stop or remain stopped.
- The Defendant, knowing he had been ordered to stop by a duly authorized law enforcement officer either:
- willfully refused or failed to stop the vehicle in compliance with the order; or
- having stopped the vehicle, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude the officer.
Fleeing to Elude a LEO § 316.1935(2), Fla. Stat.
§ 316.1935(2), Fla. Stat., sets out the following elements focused on the vehicle having proper insignia with sirens and lights activated.
- Defendant was operating a vehicle upon a street or highway in Florida.
- Defendant, knowing he had been directed to stop by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude a law enforcement officer.
- The law enforcement officer was in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle and with siren and lights activated.
Other versions of the offense include:
- 28.8 Fleeing to Elude a LEO (Siren and lights activated with high speed or reckless driving) § 316.1935(3)(a), Fla. Stat., requires the additional element that: “During the course of the fleeing or the attempt to elude, (defendant) drove at high speed or in any manner demonstrating a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
- 28.81 Fleeing To Elude A LEO (Siren and lights activated with high speed or reckless driving causing serious bodily injury or death) § 316.1935(3)(b), Fla. Stat., requires the additional element that: “As a result of (defendant’s) fleeing or eluding at high speed or wanton disregard for safety, [he] [she] caused [the death of] [serious bodily injury to] [another person] [a law enforcement officer involved in pursuing or otherwise attempting to stop [his] [her] vehicle].”
- 28.82 Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding (Leaving a Crash Involving Injury or Death then Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death) § 316.1935(4)(b) and § 316.027, Fla. Stat.
- Under § 316.1935(4)(b) and § 316.027, Fla. Stat., the offense of aggravated fleeing or eluding involves an allegation that the driver left a crash involving injury or death then as a result of fleeing or eluding, caused serious bodily injury or death to another person. Other forms of aggravated fleeing and eluding can be charged under § 316.1935(4)(a) or (b) and § 316.061 or § 316.027.
Section 316.1935(5), Fla. Stat., provides that a conviction comes with a court ordered driver’s license revocation for one to five years.
Option #1 – Apply to the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) office for early reinstatement with a hardship license. If you are eligible, you can request a hearing for a hardship license. If the hearing officer approves your application for a hardship license with a specific restriction. After your application for a hardship license is approved, then the hearing officer will indicate on your driving record that you have been authorized to obtain a hardship license and the specific type of restriction that must be added. Then the driver pays a reinstatement fee.
Option #2 – The driver can wait out the revocation period. Once the revocation period has expired, the driver will pay a reinstatement fee.
The only way to avoid this court ordered revocation is to avoid the conviction by successfully fighting the charges. Unfortunately, under Florida law, there is NO WAY to obtain a withhold of adjudication upon a plea and/or a finding of guilty by a judge or jury. The only way to avoid being a convicted felon is to beat the charge! This is why hiring a lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is vital in the defense of these allegations.
Finding a Fort Lauderdale Attorney for Fleeing to Elude
If you were charged with the serious felony offense of fleeing to elude then contact an experienced attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We represent clients on these charges and other types of criminal traffic offenses such as driving under the influence, racing, and driving while license suspended or revoked. Call us to learn how we aggressively fight criminal charges.