Illinois Traffic Violation and DUI Lawyers
Fleeing & Eluding Police
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Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer is a serious criminal offense (625 ILCS 5/11-204). If you are charged with this, you will need a lawyer to help you protect your freedom and your license.
In Illinois, drivers are required to stop the 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 speed, turns off lights, or attempts to escape from a police offer in any other way, a court can find that driver guilty of Fleeing or Eluding Police.
The penalties for this offense can be steep. It is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor which carries up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine plus court costs. A conviction also carries a mandatory six-month license suspension. A second conviction for this offense carries a mandatory 12-month suspension and a third conviction may be classified as a Class 4 Felony which carries 1-3 years in prison and a potential $25,000 fine.
Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding is also classified as a Class 4 Felony. This may occur if a court finds one of the following aggravating circumstances occurred:
- 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
A conviction for felony Fleeing and Eluding also carries a mandatory license revocation of your driver’s license.
The statute defining Fleeing and Eluding requires that the officer ordering a driver to stop must be in uniform and driving a car which is equipped with lights to indicate its status as a law enforcement vehicle. This is an important point as the State must prove all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
A driver in DuPage County actually had his conviction for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding overturned because the State did not present any evidence that arresting officer was in uniform (People of the State of Illinois v. Murdock).
As you can see, a person charged with this offense is in danger of losing important freedoms and must have good legal counsel.