PC 2800.2 – Felony Evading Police | LA Criminal Defense Lawyers
Defined under California Vehicle Code statute 2800.2, it is unlawful, while operating a motor vehicle, to flee or elude a police officer in a motor vehicle with the intent to evade, and in doing so, driving your vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Evasion under VC 2800.2 is a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the aggravating circumstances in your case.
Felony evasion is a very serious criminal offense and in Los Angeles, felony evasion is prosecuted aggressively and carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence. Given what is at stake, it is critical that you consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with felony evasion defense experience in each of the criminal courts in the Los Angeles Superior Court system. Criminal lawyers Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff have each practiced law for over 3 decades as former senior prosecutors with the LA District Attorney’s Office and since 1987, criminal defense experts. Call us now at (888) 579-4844 for a free consultation to review your case details and how we can help you.
Elements Of Evasion
There are certain elements of felony evasion in which the prosecution must prove to convict you. The elements of VC 2800.2 are as follows:
- The peace officer’s motor vehicle exhibited at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and you either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp
- The peace officer’s motor vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary
- The peace officer’s motor vehicle was distinctively marked
- The peace officer’s motor vehicle was operated by a peace officer and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform
- You evaded police with a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and property
- You caused damage to property during your attempt to evade police
Examples of Felony Reckless Evading
Here are some situations in which a person may be charged with felony reckless evading:
- A woman is driving a car she has stolen. When an officer tries to tell her to move to one side of the road, this woman speeds away and drives the car carelessly. While she is speeding the vehicle, she ignores stop signs and some red lights. When caught, she will be penalized for stealing the vehicle and felony reckless evading.
- A man who does not have a driving license decides to drive his car while going to the office. On his way to work, a police officer tries to request him to move to the side of the road. Since this man is afraid of being penalized for driving without a driving license, he speeds away after noticing that the police officer is telling him to pull over. While speeding his vehicle, he nearly hits school-going children crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing. When caught, this man will be penalized for driving without a driving licensing and felony reckless driving.
- A campus student is drunk driving after a day of drinking. When driving, he looks at his car’s rearview mirror and notices a police car with flashing red lights. The student decides not to move to the side of the road because he is afraid that the police officer in the police car will notice that he is drunk. As a result, he decides to speed up his vehicle. While driving, he ignores stop signs and runs red lights. When caught, this student will be charged with drunk driving and felony reckless evading.
Legal Defenses for Felony Reckless Evading
Just like others, you may want to avoid being convicted after you are found guilty of felony reckless evading. The following defense acts can help you avoid being convicted:
- Proving that your intention was not to evade a police officer
- Saying that the evidence provided is not sufficient to prove that you evaded a police officer
- Saying that there is not enough evidence to prove that you drove recklessly while evading the police officer
- Saying that the traffic stop was not legal
Penalties For Felony Evasion – VC 2800.2
You face the following criminal sentence if charged with felony evasion in Los Angeles:
- Formal (supervised) Probation
- 6 month mandatory minimum LA County Jail Sentence
- Up to 3 years in California State Prison
- Up to $10,000 fine
- Community Labor/Service
- 2 points on DMV driving record
Call Our LA Felony Evasion Defense Attorneys Today
Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, Paul Takakjian, and Stephen Sitkoff have dedicated their 70 years of combined criminal law expertise to the defense of all misdemeanor and felony traffic crimes in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Call us now at (888) 579-4844 for a free consultation to review your case and options.