Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Former Traffic Court Judge

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Fleeing or evading police can result in misdemeanors, felonies

There's no question that it can be stressful to get pulled over by the police, but there's never a reason to flee. Fleeing or evading the police can lead to serious consequences that you wouldn't otherwise face.

It is usually in your best interests to follow an officer's commands when they ask you to do something, whether you're in your vehicle or outside your vehicle due to a traffic stop. If you choose not to stop when the police pull you over, you could face charges for fleeing or evasion. This charge is placed at the state level and may be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the situation.

The prosecution must prove that you intended to flee the police if it wants to obtain a conviction. The prosecution's case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecution has to show that the officer was in a motor vehicle when pursuing you and that you willfully attempted to flee or evade the officer. The officer's vehicle must be distinctive and marked as an official vehicle. Additionally, the officer needs to have sounded the siren and have at least a single red light visibly obvious to you. The officer, finally, must have been wearing a police uniform.

If you don't pull over because you're concerned that the person trying to stop you isn't a police officer or because you didn't hear or see the officer, then the prosecution may not have a strong case. Your attorney will help you build a defense to the accusation that you intentionally fled, so you can protect your freedoms.

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