What Does it Mean to Evade the Police?
Running away when a police officer has issued an order to stop can be charged with a criminal offense known as eluding. Even if the person charged with evading or eluding faces no other criminal charges, this offense alone can come with serious penalties if someone is convicted.
While states differ slightly on how they define “evading” or “eluding” a police officer, most states’ definitions share common elements. Generally speaking, evading occurs when a person intentionally disobeys a command from a law enforcement officer to stop.
For example, a driver who speeds away from a police officer or who drives off in the middle of a traffic stop may be charged with evading police. Likewise, a person on foot who walks or runs away when ordered to stop may face similar charges.
If You Have Been Charged With Resisting Arrest or Eluding Police in Atlantic County You Could be Facing Jail Time and Other Serious Consequences
Some states have a specific law against fleeing, evading, or eluding a police officer. Others see evading as a form of obstructing or resisting arrest, and they treat it as a crime under their obstruction law.
In most states, knowledge and intent are important factors in determining whether or not someone is guilty of evading police. For instance, courts in several states have said that moving away from a police officer is not a crime if the person did not know or realize that the officer had issued a command to stop – for instance, if the person did not see the officer or hear an officer’s verbal command.
While a verbal “Stop!” typically counts as a command to stop, not all commands must be audible. Signs and signals like a hand signal or a police car’s flashing lights and sirens may also count as commands to stop, depending on the facts of the case. (For instance, most states require that a police officer is on duty for the command to “count.”)
Interfering with Police Defense Attorney Defending Against Resisting Arrest Charges in Atlantic City and Throughout New Jersey
Attorney John W. Tumelty is a New Jersey Supreme Court certified criminal trial attorney. If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today. Our Mamora office can be reached at 609.390.4600; Ocean City at 609.385.4221; and Wildwood/Somers Point at 609.277.2786. Or send us an email via our online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.