Atlanta, Ga. - According to law enforcement agencies from several different counties, a driver is currently wanted after striking an officer with his vehicle in North Georgia and leading a chase down into the City of Atlanta.
The chase ranged from Hall County to Dekalb County. He led officers from the various counties down I-985 to I-85. At some point, police lost track of the vehicle only to later discover it abandoned in Atlanta.
As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I will focus today's post on the law behind the offense of leading a police chase - also known as fleeing or attempting to elude.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
Fleeing or attempting to elude is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-395 as:
It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle.
The penalties if convicted can include up to $5000 in fines and between ten days and twelve months in jail.
However, as displayed in the story above, there are also situations in which the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is escalated to a felony offense. These situations include when a driver flees and:
- Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
- Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
- Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
- Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
- Leaves the State.
If convicted of felony fleeing or attempting to elude, the penalty can include up to five years in prison.
Fleeing or attempting to elude is often seen in DUI cases. When a person faces a charge for DUI in Atlanta, there is typically a fight or flight reaction that is triggered. No one wants to get arrested. This can lead to some very serious and terrible decisions such as fleeing the scene. If arrested, call our offices now. We can help you today.