Michigan Fleeing and Eluding
Failing to obey police signals to pull over will lead to harsh penalties, including prison time and steep fines. However, there are many instances in which you could misinterpret a police officer’s request or believe you are free to go when an officer wanted you to stay put.
With the help of a skilled Detroit fleeing and eluding lawyer, a simple mistake may not lead to a felony conviction. If you are being charged with fleeing and eluding the police after a misunderstanding, contact Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238 as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Michigan Law Against Fleeing & Eluding
Under Section 750.479a of the Michigan Penal Code, as a driver, you must come to a stop when you are directed to do so by the police either through a hand signal, voice command, siren, emergency lights, or another visual or audible signal by an officer.
It is unlawful for you to:
- Fail to stop
- Increase the speed of the car
- Turn off the vehicle’s lights
- Attempt to flee or elude the police in any way
But despite this law, it isn’t always clear when you can be charged with fleeing and eluding.
What Constitutes Fleeing & Eluding Under Michigan Law?
Fleeing and eluding does not require speeding away from the police and causing a high-speed chase. If you continue to drive at the posted speed limit, even for a short distance, you can be charged with fleeing and eluding.
Previously in Michigan, a man who drove slowly for over a mile to find a lit parking lot to stop for the police at 2 a.m. was charged with fleeing and eluding. Upon more scrutiny, the charges were dropped. However, not before prosecutors had attempted to convince the driver to accept a plea deal that would have given him a criminal record and affected his career and educational loans.
As can be seen, it’s imperative to have a trusted criminal defense attorney by your side who can help you fight back against fleeing and eluding charges you’re facing in Michigan. Failure to retain an attorney who genuinely cares for your future and well-being could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Potential Penalties for Fleeing & Eluding Michigan Police
Depending on the exact circumstances, you can be charged with a Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H felony. Fleeing and eluding that does not lead to accidents, injuries, or deaths is often charged as a Class H felony, punishable by two years in prison, up to $2,000 in fines, and a license suspension.
When fleeing from the police leads to an accident, or you have a previous fleeing and eluding charge, you could face a Class E felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, fines, and a license suspension.
If an accident or chase leads to injuries, you may be imprisoned for up to 10 years due to a Class B or C felony conviction. Prosecutors could charge you with a Class A felony if your actions resulted in someone’s death. Upon conviction, you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison along with additional penalties.
In addition to these criminal penalties, there are countless other ways your personal and professional life could be affected if you are found guilty of fleeing and eluding in Michigan. Some of these penalties include:
- Trouble finding or keeping a good job
- Trouble finding affordable, safe housing
- Difficulty with child custody and visitation rights
- Loss of firearm rights
- Suspension of voting rights
- Immigration and citizenship issues
- Disqualification from federal financial aid
- Suspension or revocation of your professional license
- Following probation or parole requirements, including drug testing and curfews
These are just a few of the other ways your life could be affected by a conviction for fleeing and eluding the police. With consequences this severe, it’s critical that you get help defending yourself at trial. Don’t risk your freedom by relying on an overworked public defender to represent your interests in court.
How Davis Law Group Can Help
If you have been charged with fleeing and eluding the police in Michigan, many defenses are available. Your lawyer may be able to argue that it was not safe for you to immediately stop your vehicle when you noticed the police signal.
You may not have been able to stop your vehicle immediately due to the following:
- Heavy or fast traffic
- Lack of a shoulder
- The area was not well lit late at night
Additionally, it may be a defense if you genuinely believed the area was too dangerous to stop in, or you thought the signal came from someone impersonating a police officer.
Reducing Charges to a Misdemeanor
Furthermore, it is often possible to have a fleeing and eluding charge reduced to a different misdemeanor crime, such as leaving the scene of a crime, failing to stop, failing to provide ID at the scene of a crash, or reckless driving. Through a misdemeanor charge, you may be able to avoid any jail or prison time entirely and have fewer points added to your driving record.
After a thorough review of the details of your case, your lawyer will determine which defense strategy is most likely to yield a favorable outcome for your future.
Call a Michigan Fleeing and Eluding Lawyer Today
Michigan prosecutors and police take fleeing and eluding very seriously, which is why seemingly innocent mistakes and misunderstandings still lead to felony charges. If you are facing this offense, do not give up hope or believe you must sign a plea deal despite being innocent.
Experienced Michigan fleeing and eluding lawyer Maurice Davis is ready to take on your case and build you a strong defense.