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Brian S. Leifert, Esq.
Douglas I. Leifert, Esq.

Attempt to Elude an Officer in Ft Lauderdale

A charge for attempt to elude an officer in Ft Lauderdale is governed by Florida Statute Section 316.19335. That section makes it a criminal act for any driver having knowledge that they have been lawfully ordered to stop their vehicle by a law enforcement officer to willfully refuse to stop the vehicle by incompliance with the officer’s lawful order.

The offense of fleeing and eluding in Fort Lauderdale consists of a duly-authorized law enforcement officer ordering a driver to stop or remain stopped and they either willfully refused or failed to stop the vehicle in response to the officer’s order or having already been stopped and willfully fled in their vehicle in an attempt to elude the officer after having been stopped. Contact a skilled criminal attorney to begin preparing a defense for trial.

What are Aggravating Factors in an Evading Responsibility

There are other aggravating factors within the statute for attempt to elude an officer in Ft Lauderdale that are considered by the courts in a case. If it is a situation of a fleeing and eluding allegation where lights and sirens have been activated, the courts look at that. They look at whether or not the police officer is pursing somebody with lights and sirens activated and if somebody is fleeing or eluding is engaged in high-speed or reckless driving.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving has its own particular elements and factors that are looked at. Reckless driving is driving either at a significantly high speed or in a manner that demonstrates a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Another aggravating factor or scenario in a fleeing and eluding case is high-speed or reckless driving, causing serious bodily injury or death. The penalties for the offense of fleeing and eluding in Fort Lauderdale are quite significant.

Even for first-time offenders, this is one of those statutes that  every time the legislature is in session, the penalties seem to get greater and greater each time the legislature has the opportunity to revise and redo this particular statute. In general, the standard fleeing and eluding charge in Fort Lauderdale without any aggravating circumstances is an offense classified as a third-degree felony. Any third-degree felony, especially this one, carries with it a maximum penalty of up to five years in Florida State Prison or five years of probation and up to a fine of $5,000.

What is the Risk of a Mandatory Conviction?

The mandatory conviction will also result in a mandatory driver’s license revocation, which can range anywhere from one to five years in duration. When considering some of the aggravating factors discussed earlier, fleeing and eluding with an allegation of lights and sirens activated is also a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison or five years of probation as well as a $5,000 fine and a mandatory driver’s revocation ranging also from one to five years.

The penalties for second-degree felony of attempt to elude an officer in Ft Lauderdale would be up to 15 years in Florida State Prison or 15 years of probation and up to a $10,000 fine. This could include a mandatory driver’s license revocation ranging from one to five years. Fleeing and eluding causing serious bodily injury or death is a first-degree felony and punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison or 30 years of probation. The maximum fine is a $10,000 fine and the mandatory driver’s license revocation, ranging from one to five years. That last one has a minimum mandatory sentence upon conviction of three years in Florida State Prison.

Misinterpretation of Driving Behavior

Everyone’s definition of the safe place is different. Some people say that a safe place would be anywhere on the side of the roadway that does not interfere with other traffic. Other people would say the safe place would be the first parking lot. Other people might say a safe place might be the first parking lot with adequate lighting. A driver’s definition of a safe place might be different than a police officer’s definition of a safe place.

If an individual has the intent to stop and passes a spot that the police officer feels is an appropriate stop, but the driver does not feel is appropriate, it could become a situation where there is not a meeting of the minds. The police officer could misinterpret that as an individual’s attempt to flee or elude when they are trying to find not the best, but reasonable spot to pull over. That interpretation of reasonable could differ between the police officer attempting to make a traffic stop and the person being pulled over. Contact a lawyer to discuss a potential defense for charges of attempt to elude an officer in Ft Lauderdale.

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

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