Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Former Traffic Court Judge

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Do you have to stop immediately when the police pull you over?

Evading police is a serious charge, because it means you did not stop when you were ordered to do so. Being pulled over is a part of life if you violate the law, but not stopping isn't usually an option. Whether you have an officer direct you to stop or see flashing lights behind you when you're driving, you need to pull to the side of the road. If you don't, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

There could be times when you may not be able to stop right away when an officer attempts to pull you over. That's fine, so long as you pull over as soon as possible. For example, if you're on a busy street, you might put your hazard lights on and turn onto a side road before stopping. Generally, you want to indicate to the police that you do intend to stop by slowing down, using your hazards and coming to a stop relatively quickly.

Can the police charge you with evasion if you eventually pull over?

In some cases. For instance, in the above scenario, the officer would likely understand that the person was pulling over in a safer location. However, if the individual sped up and tried to escape, that's different. Someone attempting to flee from the police may make several turns and pass locations where they could stop easily. In that case, the officer is more likely to arrest the person for evading the police. If you're arrested on those charges, you will want to speak with your attorney about the steps to take to protect yourself.

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