Fleeing & Eluding a Police Officer in Michigan
If you are given a lawful command by a police officer and willfully fail to obey, you can be charged for fleeing and eluding. If you commit a traffic violation and are instructed to pull over and do not, serious penalties may follow. Though there are defenses to a fleeing and eluding charge, it is essential to speak with a qualified Michigan driver’s license attorney as soon as possible if you have been accused of or charged with disobeying a direct command from a police officer.
Criminal Driving Offense Attorney in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Statewide
Grabel & Associates is a distinguished Michigan criminal defense firm with extensive experience fighting for clients after driving-related charges occur. For over 10 years, our firm has worked to establish a reputation as one of the premier defense firms in the state, and we have successfully represented numerous clients after they have been accused of fleeing and eluding or other motor vehicle offenses. We understand how the specifics of your case can affect your legal options, and will work to ensure you are fully informed of how co-occurring charges, past offenses, or other legal issues could affect your case.
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing a Michigan fleeing & eluding charge. Our attorneys are available now for a free initial case consultation.
Michigan Legislation: Fleeing a Police Officer
According to Michigan law, anyone driving a motor vehicle who is given a signal, be it by hand, voice, emergency light, siren, or another visual or audible signal, from a police officer directing the driver to stop their vehicle may not increase the speed of the vehicle, turn off the lights, or otherwise attempt to flee that officer. This law is only valid if the officer is in uniform, and if the officer’s vehicle or vessel can be identified as an official department vehicle. If an officer signaling a person to stop is not in uniform and is not in an identifiable police vehicle, the driver is not required to stop.
Failure to obey a lawful command from a police officer is an extremely serious charge, and dependent on the results of the resulting police chase, there are four distinct degrees of fleeing and eluding that a person can be charged with:
If death occurs, a person can be charged with fleeing and eluding in the first degree, a felony charge.
If serious injury occurs, or if prior convictions of fleeing an officer are on a person’s record, 2nd degree felony charges will result.
If a collision occurs, or if the violation takes place in part in any area with a speed limit under 35 miles per hour, a 3rd degree felony charge is possible.
If none of these occurs yet a person has still committing an act of fleeing and eluding, a 4th degree felony charge will follow.
Criminal Penalties for Fleeing & Eluding in Michigan (750.479a)
If you have been involved in a police chase and are convicted of fleeing and eluding, the penalties you will face (as outlined in Section 750.479a of the Michigan Penal Code) are as follows:
1st degree fleeing and eluding: felony criminal record, up to 15 years behind bars, a fine of up to $5000, and the revocation of your driver’s license.
2nd degree fleeing and eluding: felony criminal record, up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $5000, and the revocation of your driver’s license.
3rd degree fleeing and eluding: felony criminal record, up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $1000, and a driver’s license suspension.
4th degree fleeing and eluding: felony criminal record, up to 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $500, and license suspension.
Our Approach to Criminal Defense in Fleeing & Eluding Cases
At Grabel & Associates, we know that in many cases there are additional details that should be considered before a verdict is handed down in a motor vehicle crime case. If a police officer cannot properly be identified as such, or if the vehicle he or she is driving does not appear to be an official police vehicle, a person may not feel comfortable pulling over. In addition, in some cases it is unsafe to stop when requested, and even though a person does pull over eventually, a fleeing and eluding charge can result. Mechanical issues with a vehicle that prevent a safe stop or other issues that made it unsafe to pull over also need to be thoroughly reviewed.
Our lawyers will look over every detail of your case and do everything possible to help you achieve the best available result. Contact our firm now and start fighting for a just case outcome.
Contact Grabel & Associates for F&E Defense in Michigan
To speak with an experienced attorney, contact Grabel & Associates now at 1-800-342-7896 or through our online contact form. We are available 24/7 for clients statewide and will immediately begin providing top-tier defense as soon as you contact us.