Failure to Stop for a Police Officer Could Lead to a Felony Charge
Seeing the red and blue lights of a police vehicle behind you could be anxiety-inducing. Receiving a citation could mean paying a hefty fine, having a point placed on your license, or any number of negative consequences. Paralyzed by the fear of a run-in with the law, you may not know what to do. Alternatively, you might not think you did anything wrong, and believe the cop may not be trying to pull you over. In either case, instead of stopping for the officer, you keep driving. However, doing so could result in a charge for fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
In August of 2019, an officer attempted to pull over a Florida woman because of a broken taillight. Instead of stopping, she kept driving until she arrived home. She told the officer that she didn’t realize she was being stopped.
Faulty Equipment Ticket
Had the driver pulled over, she would have been issued a citation for the broken taillight. Generally, this type of driving offense can be taken care of by fixing the equipment and presenting the vehicle to a local law enforcement agency within 30 days of the ticket being issued.
Unfortunately, because the driver did not hear the sirens and thought the flashing lights were meant for another motorist, she is facing charges for fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.
Evading an Officer
According to Florida Statute 316.1935, a person commits this offense when they do not stop for an officer and they know they are being ordered to do so. Pulling over for the cop but then willfully driving away without the stop being completed is also criminalized under this law.
Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer is a third-degree felony.
Punishments for a conviction could include:
- Imprisonment for up to 5 years
- A fine of up to $5,000
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