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Aggravated Fleeing And Eluding

Fleeing and eluding is what you are charged with if you are accused of failing to stop when a police officer is trying to pull you over. Just like any criminal offense in Florida, the penalties, definitions, and variants of the charge (factors that may aggravate the charge and possible penalty) are defined by statute.

Florida law states that aggravated fleeing and eluding occurs when, "any person who willfully flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle, with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle, with siren and lights activated, and during the course of the fleeing or attempted eluding:

(a) Drives at high speed, or in any manner which demonstrates a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084."

Normally, fleeing and eluding is a 3rd degree felony. However, if the officer's vehicle has clearly marked agency markings (marked police car), has its lights and sirens activated, and the accused is driving at a high rate of speed or recklessly, the charge is elevated to aggravated fleeing and eluding and the crime becomes a 2nd degree felony. 2nd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Fleeing and eluding is a serious crime. There is a mandatory conviction (adjudication) and a 1-year license suspension.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. Call today to discuss your case.