Anyone can get lost in thought on the highway. When a straight, flat highway stretches out in front of you, your mind may travel to where you would like to stop for lunch or the work meetings you have scheduled. You could even become so lost in through that you fail to notice a state trooper or police officer behind you, even if they’ve flashed their lights. By not pulling over immediately, you could face a fleeing and eluding charge which is one of the serious Ohio traffic violations that can negatively impact your life for years to come. In this case, you will need experienced fleeing and eluding defense.
If you’ve been charged with fleeing and eluding, you should reach out to the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck and Associates for fleeing and eluding defense. Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation. We can assess your case and discuss your legal options. Call us at to schedule your appointment right away.
What is Fleeing or Eluding?
Ohio Rev. Code 2921.331 makes it a crime to:
- Fail to comply with a direction or an order from an officer with the authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic
- Willfully flee from or elude an officer when the officer signals you to stop your car or vehicle
In a nutshell, the offense of fleeing or eluding involves disobeying a police officer when you’re behind the wheel of a car. If you’re driving and an officer signals you to stop by flashing their lights or sounding their siren and you fail to do so, you may be charged with eluding or fleeing. You also may be charged with fleeing or eluding if an officer signals to you with a gesture while directing traffic and you disregard them.
How Eluding Police Can Affect Your Life
Eluding or fleeing can be a serious criminal charge in Ohio. It’s more than a simple moving violation, like speeding or failing to signal a lane change. Even a basic first offense is a misdemeanor crime that can carry a number of consequences.
If you’re convicted of fleeing or eluding, you may be facing consequences such as:
- Having to serve a jail sentence
- Hefty fines and court costs
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Six points on your driver’s license
- Disqualification of your CDL
- Paying more for your car insurance, perhaps for years to come
- An Ohio criminal record that can’t be expunged
In order to avoid the consequences of a fleeing or eluding conviction, you should consult a skilled Ohio traffic defense lawyer with experience in fleeing and eluding defense. They can help make a case for why your charge should be dismissed and negotiate with prosecutors in order to reduce your charge. With an effective fleeing and eluding defense, you may to avoid jail time and get your driver’s license reinstated.
Penalties for Fleeing or Eluding
The basic offense of fleeing or eluding is considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio, although fleeing or eluding also can be a felony under some circumstances. If you’re convicted of misdemeanor fleeing or eluding, you may face penalties such as:
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Up to a $1,000 fine
- A driver’s license suspension for 6 months to 3 years
- Six points on your driver’s license
When your license is suspended for a misdemeanor conviction for fleeing or eluding, you may be eligible for limited driving privileges to drive to work, school, or other necessities. An experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer can explain your options for getting a restricted driver’s license during your suspension period.
Defending Your Ohio Fleeing & Eluding Charge
A charge of fleeing or eluding police can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, especially if you’re usually a law-abiding citizen with a clean record. You may have had no intention to flee or elude the officer who signaled you to pull over. It may be that the officer didn’t give you a reasonable opportunity to pull over after signaling or they misinterpreted your actions as willful when they weren’t.
A skilled Columbus criminal defense lawyer can examine every facet of the case against you and build a strong fleeing and eluding defense. When it’s your word against that of a police officer, it is critical to have a good lawyer to stand by your side. Your lawyer can be your voice in court, making sure that your side of the story is heard.
Depending on the unique set of circumstances in your case, it may be possible to use fleeing and eluding defense strategies to get your charge dismissed or convince a judge or jury to find you not guilty. If a dismissal is not an option, a lawyer can work to get your fleeing or evading police charge and penalties reduced so you don’t have an evading police conviction on your record.
Contact Luftman, Heck and Associates
For a free consultation of your case, contact our Columbus criminal attorneys at Luftman, Heck and Associates right away. With our strong fleeing or eluding defense, you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable case outcome for your dangerous driving charge.
Call us today at (614) 304-3402 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. We can evaluate your case and stand by your side throughout the entirety of the legal process.