When you see the police, your heart begins to race and the nervousness sets in, even if you are totally clean. In the heat of the moment, you make the decision to flee. If you are on foot, you take off running as fast as you can. If you are in your car, then it’s pedal to the metal. You never intended to be guilty of evading a peace officer.
What You Should’ve Done
You should have stopped and talked to the officers. Maybe the police just wanted to let you know that you had a taillight out. Maybe they wanted to ask some simple questions. Maybe they needed your help. You were clean and you might have just been left off with a warning. Instead, you fled.
What You Did
Immediately the police give chase. With the police chasing you, you know that you are really in trouble, even if you decide to stop so you keep going. No matter how fast you run or drive, the police can call in backup. They will eventually catch you, whether it’s from your license plate and from your friend who couldn’t run as fast as you could. In fact, your friend might have been offered something to tell the police all about you.
None of that matters. You were arrested for evading a peace officer. Since 2006, evading the police in a vehicle has been a felony in the state of New York under certain circumstances. In that year, the family of fallen police officer Craig Todeschini lobbied for the new law after he was killed in pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist. Officer Todeschini died when his SUV hit a tree. The NY legislature decided it was time that dangerously evading the police became a felony, even if you aren’t guilty of any other crime.
After arrest for evading police, it’s important to immediately seek adequate legal representation. NYC Criminal lawyers like Raiser and Kenniff know the law and the conditions under which the law applies. It’s very important to not volunteer information to the police. The police will initially question you, even at the time of the stop, and if they can get you to admit guilt, then it becomes much harder for an attorney to get the charges reduced or dropped.
Know Your Charges
If you evaded the police in a vehicle then you can be charged with a felony if someone was hurt or killed during the pursuit. Otherwise, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. While a misdemeanor is considered to be less serious than a felony, it can still result in jail time and significant fines.
There are conditions that need to be met in order to be convicted with the misdemeanor evading a peace officer charge. The state will need to prove that you knowingly fled the police. The police can demonstrate this if they can show that they had their lights or siren on at the time and you were traveling more than 25 mph over the speed limit or engaging in reckless driving.
Protect Your Rights
If New York state can’t prove those conditions, then they can’t convict you of the crime. This is why it’s so important to have an attorney who knows the law and knows how to successfully defend a client charged with evading police. It’s in your best interest to defend yourself vigorously from all criminal charges.
There is no guarantee that any attorney can get evading peace officer charges reduced or dropped, but Raiser and Kenniff Criminal Lawyers know the prosecution and know the police. They know the facts of the case. They can call witnesses, they can subpoena evidence, and they build a solid defense case. They increase the odds that you stay clean. They are former prosecutors defending those now charged with a crime.