Yesterday we wrote about what happens when people attempt to evade the police and they willfully disregard the safety of other people and property. In that case, no actual injury need occur to be found guilty, nonetheless the punishment is still stiff (see below).
In cases where people actually hurt someone, of course, the punishment gets stiffer. In cases where someone gets killed, an offender faces up to seven years in state prison and $10,000 in fines. And that’s in addition to any applicable homicide or assault charges.
These situations are covered by California Vehicle Code section 2800.3 Felony Evasion of a Peace Officer Causing Injury or Death.
Basically, this charge involves circumstances where a marked police car driven by an officer follows you, sounds its siren, and flashes at least one red light that you should reasonably be able to see…and you refuse to stop…and you proximately cause serious bodily injury or death to another person in the process.
The two key concerns here are “serious bodily harm” and “proximate cause.”
Bottom line: “serious bodily harm” is generally considered anything requiring stitches or a cast on up; “proximate cause” means that the kind of injury the victim suffered was foreseeable to the offender.
Now, in today’s world everyone knows that cars can cause very serious injuries. And everyone knows that leading the police on a chase can result in accidents.
So you don’t want to give the police any reason to suspect that you are evading them.
Any time you find yourself being ordered to the side of the road by law enforcement, obey…even if you know there was no way you could have been in the wrong. Once pulled over, you can assert your right to remain silent, if necessary or appropriate under the circumstances.
The point is, don’t make an undesirable situation worse.
And if the police do allege that you were attempting to flee, contact a California criminal defense attorney immediately. There are several successful California defenses that can be promptly mounted on your behalf.