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Birmingham Attempt to Elude Scenarios
The Michigan Motor Vehicle Code has a section under the Criminal Code which is a failure to obey the direction of a police or conservation officer to stop motor vehicle or vessel. In the State of Michigan, this is known as the fleeing and eluding statute. If a driver is given a signal by hand, voice, emergency lights, siren, or any other visual or audible signal by a police officer acting in the lawful performance of their duty, that driver must stop their vehicle.
If they fail to do that by increasing the speed of the vehicle, extinguishing their lights, or otherwise attempting to flee or elude, then they may be charged with a felony. That is just one of several attempt to elude scenarios in Birmingham, but the charge is always serious. Depending upon whether someone is hurt or killed and other circumstances surrounded the incident, they could potentially face prison time. If you are facing attempt to elude charges, it is essential to contact and work with a seasoned traffic lawyer to protect your rights.How Common are Attempt to Elude Charges in Birmingham?
Fleeing and eluding is generally not a common offense in most jurisdictions. However, it is more common than people would realize as anytime the officer activates their lights and believes that the person is taking too long to pull over to the side of the road, there is a potential for this charge. The standard for fleeing and eluding is somewhat flexible. A common attempt to elude scenario in Birmingham will be when an officer issues the charge in conjunction with the charge they pulled the driver over for in the first place, and if it is uncertain whether the driver was actually attempting to elude, the prosecutor may use dropping this charge as a bargaining chip in a plea deal.
Attempting to elude usually occurs when a driver panics and starts to run from an officer after they see the flashing lights in their rearview mirror. Unfortunately, there are many times when a police officer goes to stop somebody, and they try to run if they potentially have a warrant out for their arrest, if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if they have some form of contraband in the vehicle. Other times, the police officers will argue that because the person did not stop quickly enough that there is a fleeing or eluding but this may just be the result of the driver not paying attention.Exiting a Highway After an Officer Clocks Speed
It is not an attempt to elude an officer when a person purposely exits the highway after seeing a police officer clock their speed. In the State of Michigan, in order to flee or elude the police officer, the officer must visually or audibly signal to them to stop their vehicle. If the police officer is simply running radar and they notice the police officer is running radar, it is still legal to leave the highway. However, if the police officer activated their emergency signals or gave them a signal to stop and left the highway after this, it may be considered a criminal act.
In many scenarios for attempt to elude charges in Birmingham, the driver may simply be leaving the highway to find a safe location to pull over. If someone does not increase their speed in an effort to flee from the officer but simply leaves the highway to find a safe place to pull over, that would still be legal. What constitutes fleeing and eluding is generally a knowledgeable attempt to try and get beyond the officer's ability to stop them.Officers May Misinterpret a Driver's Actions
Driving behavior may be misinterpreted as an attempt to elude an officer in situations where drivers are waiting to find a safe place to pull over. Oftentimes, the issue arises where the police officer is the one deciding as to whether fleeing or eluding has occurred. The prosecution will usually take the recommendation of the officer, even if the charge was made in error.
There are other attempt to elude scenarios in Birmingham where the police officer may individually feel that a place is safe, but the driver themselves may not feel that there is a safe location to pull over. It is legal in the State of Michigan when a police officer is behind them to drive to the nearest police station to ensure the driver's safety as well as the safety of a police officer. If somebody does not speed up to try and evade the police officer but continues at a slow rate of speed, they should be able to go as long as they need to find someplace safe.
However, at some point, the police officer not knowing what is going on is likely going to be thinking that the vehicle is fleeing or eluding from them and there is a possibility of a charge arising from that. That does not necessarily mean that the charge would be appropriate or end up in a conviction. If you are facing attempt to elude charges or simply want to know more about attempt to elude scenarios in Birmingham, you may want to speak with a seasoned traffic attorney. Call today for excellence in criminal defense and start protecting your rights.