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New York Penal Code 270.35: Unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the first degree

By Spodek Law Group | May 4, 2017
(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)

Last Updated on: 26th July 2023, 08:56 pm

What Is Fleeing A Police Officer?
When most people see a police car behind them with the lights on, they pull to the side of the road in the event that they are being stopped. However, if a driver flees from a police officer in a motor vehicle, then the driver can be charged with a crime. The driver can be charged whether the incident occurred after being stopped and simply fleeing or if the driver never stopped in the first place and drove away from the police car. This action is not only dangerous for the driver, but it also puts the officer and other drivers on the road at risk as there is a possibility of the driver wrecking the car.
Most of the time, fleeing in a motor vehicle is a felony. Jail time can be up to two years. There is a possibility of spending up to 15 years in prison if the driver causes damage to other vehicles or property and if there is a history of criminal charges on the driver’s record. Probation is an option depending on the prior history of the defendant. Charges can be filed when the driver increases the speed of the vehicle when at first seeing police lights. The driver could turn off the headlights on the car, making it difficult for the officer to see where the car is located on the road, on a side road or in a driveway. If the driver hears a voice from the car alerting that driver to stop and the driver doesn’t abide by what is said, then charges could then be filed for fleeing as the officer issued a warning to stop.
Examples Of Fleeing In The First Degree
If someone is in a car and driving on the road and sees blue lights in the rear-view mirror, that person is supposed to pull to the side of the road. When that driver fails to pull over and continues to drive off, increasing in speed and making reckless movements on the road, then it’s considered fleeing. Another example would be if a driver is stopped and begins to talk to the officer before fleeing in the vehicle once the officer goes back to the police car or when the officer is distracted. A common example would be if an officer pulls a driver over for an expired license plate or not using a turn signal. Once the driver sees that the lights come on, then the driver would need to pull over. As soon as the driver begins to make movements to show that stopping is out of the question, then the driver would face charges of fleeing. First-degree fleeing and eluding is often sought by the prosecution if the death of another person occurs while the driver is getting away from the police officer. Another element that will trigger first-degree charges is if the driver causes serious injury to another driver or a pedestrian.
Defenses Used
One of the defenses that a NYC criminal attorney can use is that the police car wasn’t properly marked and didn’t have the proper lights or sirens for the driver to know that it was a legal stop. Another defense is that the officer must show the proper identification or have on the proper uniform that is suitable for the state, county or city. A defense that could be used is that the driver was unable to clearly see the lights on the police car when they were turned on by the officer.
New York Penal Code 270.30: Unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the second degree
Police chases can be quite dangerous, both to civilians and the officers themselves. This is why New York has created a statute that prohibits the fleeing of a police officer in a motorized vehicle. It is imply unsafe for everyone involved. The potential for people to become seriously injured is great, with many pedestrians often being caught in the middle. That being said, just because you are charged with the unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle in the second degree in New York does not mean you are guilty. You need to protect your legal rights, and this is best done by immediately contacting a NYC criminal lawyer.
The Charge Explained
Police officers have been killed a result of a suspect driving away from the police in a car or truck at high speed. Pedestrians have been killed and injured, as have other drivers in surrounding vehicles. Anyone in a motorized vehicle in New York is obligated to stop the moment that a police officer orders them to. Failing to do so is a violation of New York penal code 270.30. The state of New York actually provides for three different charges to be levied for this offense, the second degree being one of them.
The accused will be charged based upon the extent of the injuries incurred, and whether or not a death occurred as a result of the actions of the driver fleeing the commands of the police officer. For a charge of unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle in the second degree to be issued in New York, you will need to have fled the scene in a speed that in excess of 25 mph or more over the speed limit. You can also be charged with this crime if you are viewed to being driving recklessly as you flee the police officer and that officer, or a third person, incurs a serious physical injury as a result.
An Example of Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle
Imagine that a police suspects you of driving a stone vehicle. You might not have stolen it at all, but the police does not know that yet. A police officer proceeds by turning his lights and signaling you to pull over to the side of the road at the first possible safe point. Rather than pulling over, you proceed to drive through an area that is mixed with residential and commercial buildings throughout the New York area. You speed was more than 30mph an hour over the speed limit, and you made active attempts to evade and get away from the police At one point, you turn into a road that has heavy car and pedestrian traffic. Going through a red light, you just barely avoid hitting a pedestrian and you keep going anyway. At the next red light you speed through that as well and hit a woman that was crossing the street at a crosswalk. Because of this, she suffered numerous serious physical injuries, leading you to be charged with unlawful fleeing of a police office in a motor vehicle.
Possible Defenses
nyc criminal attorneys can mount several different defenses to demonstrate your innocence. The first step is to determine the extent of the injuries that were caused. If they are not serious, you would likely be found innocent of this charge. New York is very specific about what constitutes serious physical injury. Contact a New York criminal lawyer to begin the fight for your legal rights.
New York Penal Code 270.25: Unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree
Everyone knows that sinking feeling when you are driving along and look into your rearview mirror and see those flashing red lights. The law states that when a police officer orders you to pull over, you must pull over. Whether or not the flashing lights are for you, when an emergency vehicle turns on those flashing lights everyone must slow down and pull over. If you continue to drive, you could be in violation of New York penal code 270.25: unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree.
Penal Code 270.25 Broken Down
Penal code 270 addresses fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. The least serious offense is 270.25, which is fleeing in the third degree. This code states that you must stop if directed to do so by either lights or siren. If you attempt to flee by driving in excess of 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit or by driving recklessly (as defined in section 1212 of the vehicle and traffic law) then you have violated Penal Code 270.25.
Violation of this code in the third degree is considered a class A misdemeanor. If convicted you could spend up to one year in jail, be ordered to pay a fine, and you could serve up to 3 years probation.
Example of Unlawful Fleeing a Police Office in a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree
If someone is driving and speeds past a police officer, chances are the lights and sirens will come on and the police will attempt to pull them over. If they continue to drive and accelerate up to speeds of 25 miles or more per hour over the posted speed limit, or drive recklessly by weaving in and out of traffic or other reckless driving, they are guilty of violating code 270.25. Drivers can still be arrested later even if the police officer abandons the chase because it gets too dangerous, as long as they can identify who the driver was by the license plate or other means.
Potential Defenses Against Code 270.25 Charges
There are basically three aspects to a charge of fleeing in a motor vehicle in the third degree: knowing that there is a police officer trying to pull you over, speed, or reckless driving. If any one of these three aspects is missing, that could be a potential defense. If you didn’t see the flashing lights, you can argue that you didn’t know the police was trying to pull you over. If you do not accelerate to speeds of 25 miles or more above the speed limit, then this charge would not be appropriate. Similarly, if your driving is not considered reckless as defined in section 1212 of the vehicle and traffic law, that could be a defense as well. It is important to consult with a New York criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending these types of cases to get the best possible defense.
High speed police chases are extremely dangerous for the police officer and everyone else on the road including pedestrians. Charges of unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree are serious charges and should not be ignored just because this is considered a misdemeanor. If you are convicted you could still face jail time, a fine, probation, or a combination of all three. If you are wrongfully charged with a violation of Penal Code 270.25, hire a good defense attorney to present your case and clear your record.

Fleeing a police officer refers to the act of evading or attempting to evade law enforcement, typically in a motor vehicle, when signaled to stop. This action can result in criminal charges due to the dangers it presents to the officer involved and other road users, as well as potential damage to property. Charges may be escalated if the fleeing driver causes injury, death or other damage while evading the police, and defenses include arguing that the police vehicle was not properly marked, that the officer failed to show proper identification, or that the driver could not see the emergency lights.

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