Fleeing and Eluding Police
If you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, you may be tempted to hit the gas instead of pulling over to the side of the road. However, if you make this decision, you could be facing serious criminal charges.
Under Illinois law, fleeing and eluding a police officer is a serious criminal offense. If you are charged with this crime, you could be sentenced to jail time and required to pay a steep fine.
It can also be charged as a felony, which can include an even lengthier sentence and a higher fine.
If you are charged with fleeing and eluding police, you will need a lawyer to help you protect your freedom and your license. At DDT Law Group, we aggressively defend our clients from a range of driving-related charges. Our legal team works hard to help each client achieve the best possible outcome for their case.
What Is Fleeing and Eluding Police?
In Illinois, drivers are required to stop their vehicle when ordered to do so by a police officer. The order may be by siren, lights, hand signals, or verbal commands. If a driver increases their speed, turns off their lights, or attempts to escape from a police offer in any other way, they may be charged with fleeing or eluding police.
If a court convicts you of fleeing or eluding police, you may face a range of consequences. The penalties for this offense can be steep. This charge is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500, plus court costs. A conviction also carries a mandatory six-month license suspension.
If you are convicted of fleeing and eluding police a second time, then the license suspension increases to 12 months. A third conviction may be classified as a Class 4 felony, which carries a sentence of 1-3 years in prison and a potential $25,000 fine.
What Is Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police in Illinois?
You may be charged with a more serious crime, aggravated fleeing, and eluding if one or more factors were involved in your case. These factors, known as aggravating circumstances, include:
- Speeding 21 mph over the limit
- Causing bodily injury to any person
- Causing property damage in excess of $300
- Disobeying 2 or more official traffic control devices
Aggravated fleeing and eluding is a Class 4 felony, punishable by between 1 to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. A conviction for felony Fleeing and Eluding also carries a mandatory license revocation of your driver’s license.
For both fleeing and eluding and aggravated fleeing and eluding, the State must prove certain elements of the crime. Specifically, the State must demonstrate that the law enforcement officer who ordered the driver to stop was in uniform at the time and was driving a car equipped with lights to indicate its status as a law enforcement vehicle.
If the State is unable to prove these elements, then your attorney may be able to use those facts to have your charge dismissed or be found Not Guilty. A driver in DuPage County actually had his conviction for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding overturned because the State did not present any evidence that the arresting officer was in uniform. In this way, a skilled attorney can put together both factual and legal defenses to the serious charge of fleeing and eluding in Illinois.
Is Fleeing and Eluding a Felony in Illinois?
Fleeing and eluding may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Illinois, depending on the facts of the case. Generally, for a first-time charge with no aggravating factors present, it will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. For a repeat offense, or for situations where aggravating factors (such as excessive speed or causing injury) are present, you may be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor.
How Much Time Will You Get for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding in Illinois?
Aggravated fleeing or eluding is a class 4 felony offense in Illinois. As such, it is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, a conviction for aggravated fleeing and eluding will result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension. Because a conviction for aggravated fleeing or eluding can result in imprisonment, it is vital that you work with an experienced Illinois traffic violation attorney who can advocate for your rights and your freedom.
How Many Points Will I Get on My License for Fleeing and Eluding?
Illinois uses a point system for driver’s licenses, where a person will receive points for committing certain traffic infractions. If you have a certain number of traffic offenses within a set period of time, the total points on your license will determine whether your license is suspended or revoked, and the length of the punishment.
Most Illinois traffic violations are assigned a certain number of points, such as 55 points for reckless driving. However, both fleeing and eluding and aggravated fleeing and eluding will result in an immediate suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. In other words, these offenses are considered serious enough that you won’t get points – your license will automatically be suspended or revoked if you are convicted.
Charged with Fleeing & Eluding? Reach Out Today.
Whether you are charged with misdemeanor fleeing and eluding or a more serious felony aggravated fleeing and eluding offense, you are in danger of losing important freedoms. A skilled Illinois traffic violation attorney can represent you throughout the process, and fight for your rights.
The DDT Law Group represents clients throughout the greater Chicago area, including Cook, Dupage, and Lake counties. If you have been charged with fleeing and eluding in Illinois or another traffic offense, we can help. Call or text us at 312-940-8330, or fill out our online contact form to speak to a traffic lawyer in Chicago.