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

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

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.

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