SOMETIMES A DUI IS MORE THAN JUST A DUI
Evading the police is not just what you see on TV when you see a high speed car chase on the interstate. An evading charge can result simply if you turn around when you see a DUI checkpoint. You can turn around to try to avoid the DUI checkpoint and find yourself with a DUI plus an Evading a Peace Officer charge.
VC 2800.1 is Misdemeanor Evading a Peace Officer which takes place when you evade a police officer who is in a police car or on a police motorcycle. VC 2800.2 is Felony Reckless Evading which is more like the high speed chases you see on TV. Chances are you have been charged with VC 2800.1
Evading a Peace Officer
(a) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist:
(1) The peace officer's motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.
(2) The peace officer's motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.
(3) The peace officer's motor vehicle is distinctively marked.
(4) The peace officer's motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.
(b) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s bicycle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if the following conditions exist:
(1) The peace officer's bicycle is distinctively marked.
(2) The peace officer's bicycle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.
(3) The peace officer gives a verbal command to stop.
(4) The peace officer sounds a horn that produces a sound of at least 115 decibels.
(5) The peace officer gives a hand signal commanding the person to stop.
(6) The person is aware or reasonably should have been aware of the verbal command, horn, and hand signal, but refuses to comply with the command to stop.
When it comes to misdemeanor evading there are common defenses that can be used because there are certain requirements, or "elements of the crime" that must be met in order for the prosecutor to prove evading. For example, if the officer was in an unmarked car, or not wearing a uniform, or did not sound the siren, or did not turn on at least one red lamp, then you are not guilty of evading a peace officer- even if you really were trying to avoid a dui checkpoint, for example.
The details are important to prove. A prosecutor might simply forget to obtain testimony on each element at a preliminary hearing and our seasoned attorneys can get the evading case dismissed on a technicality as simple as the prosecutor forgeting to ask and the officer forgeting to mention the color of the flashing lights.
All in all, it is not uncommon for our clients to be charged with more than one offense with their DUI. Often our attorneys can get one or more of the charges dropped, or negotiate a plea bargain in which you agree to one charge if the other is dismissed. For example you might agree to a first time DUI, but to a lesser charge on misdemeanor evading. For example, in the case of misdemeanor evading, our attorneys might be able to negotiate a reduction to "disturbing the peace" or "failure to yield".
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