When someone evades arrest by taking off whether in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot, they can be charged with a variety of offenses under New York Penal Law. It’s much more serious if the evasion resulted in the serious injury or death of a bystander or the police. Police chases are incredibly dangerous, and the police take the matter very seriously.
A person who has tried to evade police arrest by engaging in a high speed chase can be charged with driving recklessly and reckless endangerment in the first or second degree. They all fall under Penal code § 120.25 regarding evading the police and reckless endangerment.
For example, someone might be stopped for running a red light. The person speeds away before the officer can ask for their license, and while evading police, the person almost hits a pedestrian, that person can be charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree. Courts call it an utter disregard for the value of human life. If the person has a depraved indifference to human life, he or she doesn’t care who gets hurt or killed while trying to evade police.
Reckless endangerment is a felony that can mean years of prison time. An experienced lawyer can argue that the chase didn’t not involve endangering others or an indifference to human life. There are other defenses that an experienced attorney can counter with if you’ve been charged with this felony.
If convicted of this Class D felony, you could face up to 7 years in prison. It’s considered a violent felony so the judge is required to give the convicted a minimum of 2 years in prison as a sentence. The actual period of the sentence is determinate, so that means you’ll get a set number of years based on your criminal history and the facts of the case itself.
When convicted, you’ll get at least 2 years in prison. There’s no option for zero prison time. The court will look at your prior history to find out whether you’ve had any other felony convictions in the last 10 years. They’ll look at whether there were violent felonies and a persistent history of violent felonies. A persistent felon can receive between 12 and 25 years in prison.
Once released from prison, the court will require that you have supervision for 1 to 3 years. There are rules depending on the facts of your case and how the Department of Corrections wants to handle the release.
You must not commit a crime, associate with criminals or possess drugs or paraphernalia. It’ll include visits with a parole officer, drug testing and curfews. As part of your release, you’ll need to have steady employment too.
Part of the conviction might include restitution and fines. Restitution will go to the victim of the crime to cover expenses due to the injury. It can be as much as $15,000. There are also fees that have to be paid to the court. Failure to pay the fines, fees or restitution might result in you not being released from prison.
All of that might be avoided with the right criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer might argue that the chase was a misunderstanding or there was no disregard for human life. The details of the case will determine how your lawyer handles the defense. It’s important that you hire a lawyer immediately to mount a good defense, or you could end up in prison for a very long time.