When the police signal a person to pull over, that person’s fight or flight mode is activated. If you have nothing to worry about, you’ll easily comply with the officers and pull over. However, if you panic because you have a controlled substance in your car or you have a warrant for your arrest for a previous offense, it can be harder. No matter the reason, you may feel compelled to run. Don’t.
Fleeing a law enforcement officer is never a good idea. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the consequences of being the object of a high-speed police chase.
The Penalties for Evading Are Just the Beginning
Fleeing from and evading a law enforcement officer in Texas is a crime. In Texas, evading arrest or detention on foot would be a misdemeanor, but evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle (and a golf cart is a motor vehicle by legal definition) then it would be a felony charge.
Recommended: 3 Penalties For A Hit And Run In Texas
The Additional Charges … Maybe, But Not Likely
When someone chooses to use his or her motor vehicle to escape a police arrest, they can rake up additional misdemeanor traffic charges, including:
- Failure to control speed
- Failure to drive in a single marked lane
- Running a stop sign or stoplight
- Making an unsafe lane change
- Driving at an unsafe speed
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving the wrong way on a divided highway
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way road
The evading driver can face multiple charges, depending upon the number of incidences that occur during the police chase. However, practically speaking, once there is an arrestable offense, the police do not tack on the Class C misdemeanor tickets.
How Can I Protect My Rights?
If you’re arrested for fleeing and evading an officer in Texas, never forget that you still have rights. Make sure you hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you failed to pull over after being signaled to do so by an officer.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can argue for your innocence based upon several factors. He or she can argue that you didn’t intend to flee from and elude the officer(s). There may be evidence that you did not see the police lights or hear the siren. It’s also possible that the officer was in an unmarked vehicle, wasn’t in proper uniform, didn’t wear a prominent badge, or acted in a way that made you doubt whether they were a real law enforcement officer. Or maybe you didn’t stop because you were worried about your personal safety, based on the time and location of the events. Your lawyer will carefully scrutinize all the evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?
If you were recently involved in a high-speed police chase, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly. Attorney JL Carpenter has an excellent track record of fighting rigorously for her clients. She builds a strong case, finds weaknesses in the state’s case, and launches compelling arguments, with the goal of steering the case in the right direction.