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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Evading police could lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge

Evading police is something you don't ever want to do. Evading police refers to when you try to avoid an officer after he or she tries to stop you or pull you over. It's always better to stay calm and to look for a place to pull over if you're in your vehicle; running from the police only puts you and others in danger.

On the whole, it's always in your best interests to do what an officer asks. For instance, if he or she asks you to lie down on the ground, you should oblige in most cases. Likewise, if the officer asks you to remain in your vehicle, you shouldn't get out of the car.

If you decide to flee from the police, you can be charged with evading. To be found guilty of evading police, the prosecution has to show that an officer was following you in a vehicle. You must have intentionally fled from the police, also. It also must be true that the officer was in an official uniform, the officer had sounded the siren, the officer had at least one red light turned on from the front of the vehicle and that the vehicle was clearly marked as a police vehicle. In all cases, the prosecution must show that you could have seen the cruiser's lights.

If you are convicted of evading police, you could face a felony charge or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. It's a good idea to talk to your attorney as soon as possible to devise a solid defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Evading Police," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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