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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Attempts to Elude an Officer in Bucks County

In Bucks County, the charge of eluding a police officer is generally referred to as fleeing the police. It is considered a misdemeanor of the second and/or first degree, depending on the circumstances and if the police give in order to stop, e.g., lights on and sirens blaring, or a verbal order to stop, and the individual continues. A fleeing police charge can be charged as a felony of the third-degree and could include a resisting arrest charge. Additionally, any time an individual eludes or attempts to flee police and puts police in harm’s way, additional charges, all the way up to it aggravated assault (which is graded as a felony of the second degree or more) can be added.

Thus, eluding an officer merely means not responding when an officer makes a request for an individual to pull over, not responding and/or attempting to get away from an officer by using speed or any other form of trickery to avoid apprehension. If you want to know more about attempts to elude an officer in Bucks County, or you have been charged with attempting to flee the police, consult an accomplished traffic attorney that could build a solid defense for you.

How Attempting to Elude an Officer Charges Work

Any time an individual is asked by police, by their signal, to pull over their vehicle and the individual goes a substantial distance (more than two city blocks or passes areas that would otherwise be safe for the individual to pull over), that individual is attempting to elude police and/or not respond to their commands. In either case, the courts consider this a very serious offense which can be charged as a flee police (attempt to elude an officer) charge, graded anywhere from a misdemeanor of the second-degree all the way up to a felony of the third-degree. A felony conviction for attempts to elude an officer in Bucks County could have serious consequences for an individual.

Elements of Attempting to Elude an Officer

The elements of attempting to elude an officer in Bucks County are simply that police are trying to stop an individual and that stop has been proclaimed to the individual through lights and sirens or a reasonable demand on the part of the police. Should an individual continue operating their car and continue fleeing the police officer, this is when “eluding with the intent to prevent an officer from making a legal stop” comes into play. When an officer determines the need to pull over an individual, gives the appropriate signal for that individual to stop and the individual continues to go, elements such as racing speed, turning without signals, et cetera, can all be used in attempting to prove the eluding driver.

Is Attempt to Elude an Officer a Common Offense?

In Bucks County, attempting to elude an officer is not a very common offense. In most circumstances, individuals will cooperate and pull over when signaled by a police officer to do so, which is in their best interest. In limited circumstances, individuals will not comply with police and will attempt to get away, thus causing a risk to pedestrians and other vehicles, as well as the police themselves during their pursuit. Understandably, any other crime being committed during the eluding only raises the chances of the fleeing police charge being raised to a felony of the third-degree, and any other charges that may flow from that can also be charged. The felony three charge alone can carry a sentence of up to 3 1/2 to 7 years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine.

What Level of Offense is an Attempt to Elude an Officer

In Bucks County, an attempt to elude an officer or flee police by a vehicle is a charge that can come into play. This charge can be graded anywhere from a misdemeanor of the second-degree all the way up to a felony of the third-degree. The level offense is specific to the charges and what occurs under the circumstances. Should an individual make contact with an unattended car and continue on, in most cases without police coming immediately to the scene, that is graded as a misdemeanor of the second-degree. However, when police do respond to a scene with lights and sirens that are visible or should be visible to the individual, and the individual makes no reasonable means of stopping that is responsive to the signal and does things such as racing speed, ignoring police presence, those cases can be charged as a felony of the third degree. Individuals charged with such an offense can face up to 3 1/2 to 7 years’ incarceration and a $15,000 fine. Penalties for attempts to elude an officer in Bucks County can be quite severe which is why it is important for individuals to consult skilled criminal defense attorneys that could advocate for them.