Written by attorney Jared Clayton Austin

Fleeing & Eluding

Fleeing and Eluding is a criminal offense where a driver of a car fails to obey a visual or audible signal to pull over by the police in lawful performance of his duties. This is a very serious charge which not only involves possible prison time, but it also adds a substantial amount of points to your driving record which means driver responsibility fees and higher insurance premiums. With such a conviction you will lose your driving privileges unless the circuit court gives you a hardship license which would permit you limited driving under a restricted license. Also, since it is a driving offense, it can never be expunged from your public record.

The statute would more properly be stated as fleeing or eluding as opposed to fleeing and eluding. The connector “and" only serves to confuse people into thinking that the prosecution must prove both and that just simply is not the case. To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution essentially has to prove that:

1) A police officer attempted to pull you over while driving by activating his lights or sirens or by giving a verbal signal

2) The officer was in a marked police vehicle

3) The police officer was acting lawfully by attempting to pull you over

4) You intentionally did not pull over for the police

Some drivers have mistakenly believed to their detriment that if they kept driving until they get home, the officer either cannot arrest them or cannot impound their vehicle. Wrong on both counts. Also, it doesn't matter if you keep driving the speed limit and obeying traffic control devices. If you see the police trying to pull you over and you don't pull over, that is enough.


First Degree-- Causing Death

· 15 years in prison

· $10,000 fine

· License Revocation

Second Degree-- Causing Serious Injury or one or more previous conviction

· 10 years in prison

· $5,000 fine

· License Revocation

Third Degree-- Collision or Accident, a portion occurs in a 35mph speed zone, or a previous 4th degree conviction

· Five years in prison

· $1,000 fine

· License Suspension

Fourth Degree

· Two years in prison

· $500 fine

· License Suspension

In each instance, six points will be added to your driving record and you will be assessed $2,000 in driver's responsibility fees ($1,000 a year for two consecutive years).


  1. It was unsafe to pull over-- this can be supported by evidence that the driver was driving slow and pulled over at the first safe spot or well-lit area which could be used to argue that the driver had no intention of eluding the police officer.

  2. An emergency necessitated not pulling over.

  3. An equipment failure on the car prevented you from pulling over.

  4. The driver could not tell it was the police or reasonably believed that they were not the police.

  5. The police were not performing a lawful duty.

  6. Driver did not realize the police were attempting to pull them over.

  7. Mistaken identify-- the police mistakenly identified the wrong person as the driver of the vehicle.

First offenses are often reduced to Attempted Fleeing and Eluding which decreases it from a felony with possible prison to a one-year misdemeanor. Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a civil infraction, especially if there are problems with the case or mitigating circumstances that can be used as leverage. There also may be grounds for dismissal. If you have been charged with Fleeing and Eluding, consult with an experienced criminal attorney.

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