It was on February 18, 2019, that a man was arrested for eluding police. The first law the man violated during the incident was failing to pull over for an emergency vehicle in Valley Brook. Police officers saw the incident and signaled for the man to pull over. The man, though, sped off instead of complying with the officers. The man was eventually caught and was arrested on a number of charges. However, was he arrested for eluding the police, or for other crimes?
Oklahoma Law on Eluding a Police Officer
In Oklahoma, it is a crime to elude a police officer, according to Oklahoma statutes. Under the law, drivers of any vehicle must pull over after receiving either visual or audio cues from an officer signaling that the driver must stop.
The act of eluding a police officer includes a number of different behaviors. Turning off a vehicle’s lights, increasing speed, or any other behavior indicating a driver is trying to evade a police officer is considered breaking the law. Police officers are not required to use both their lights and siren to indicate they want a driver to pull over. As long as the signal was enough to indicate that a driver should have reasonably known they were being pulled over, the driver can face charges if they fail to do so.
Penalties for Eluding a Police Officer
When a driver breaks the law by attempting to elude a police officer, it is often charged as a misdemeanor. If convicted, those charged could face a fine of between $100 and $2,000. as well as one year in jail for a first conviction. Subsequent convictions are still considered misdemeanors, although the penalties increase to fines between $500 and $5,000 and possible jail time.
Eluding a police officer is dangerous. Typically those that attempt to do so drive very fast, and, if they are very eager to get away, maneuver dangerously through traffic. Due to this, when someone is trying to elude a police officer and causes an accident, it is charged as a felony. If convicted, those charged face between one to five years in prison, and a maximum fine of $500.
Other Penalties Associated with Eluding a Police Officer
Charges of eluding a police officer are often laid in conjunction with another crime. Often, people try to evade a police officer because they don’t want to be caught for committing that other crime. This was the case in the most recent Valley Brook case. The man charged faced charges for eluding police, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm after previous felony conviction, knowingly concealing stolen property, and possession of marijuana.
If police charge someone with eluding a police officer in conjunction with other charges, those accused will face some of the most severe penalties. If convicted, a judge will likely require them to serve the sentences consecutively, meaning one after another. However, there is help for those looking to retain their freedom.
Charged with a Crime? Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Oklahoma
No one wants to get in trouble with the law, which is why eluding the police is sometimes a natural instinct. While it’s important that everyone complies with an officer’s request to pull over, those who don’t should contact an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
If you have been charged with eluding the police, contact the office of Banks, Gillett, Gillett, PLLC at (405) 607-4800. The situation may seem hopeless, but it’s not. We will fight for your rights in court, and argue aggressively to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. We offer free consultations, so don’t delay. Give us a call and get the help you need right now.