Prince William Attempting to Elude an Officer Charges
Below, a Prince William traffic lawyer discusses AEO charges in Virginia including what it is and what the penalties are for attempting to elude law enforcement officers. If you have already been charged or accused consult with a Prince William AEO lawyer today to discuss your case and how to proceed.
What is Attempting To Elude An Officer in Prince William County?
Virginia law says that any person who has received a visible or audible signal from a law enforcement officer to bring their vehicle to a stop and drives their vehicle in willful and wanton disregard of that signal, or attempts to escape or elude the law enforcement officer, whether that’s on foot or whether in a vehicle or by any means, is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. If you endanger any person or law enforcement officer then your charge becomes a class 6 felony and if someone is killed as a direct result of the pursuit then your charge will be elevated to a class 4 felony.
Penalties For Attempting to Elude
When a person is convicted under this section of the law, in addition to any other penalties, their driver’s license is suspended by the court for a period of not less than thirty days, but not more than a year. However, in any case where the speed of the person is determined to have exceeded the maximum allowed by 20 miles an hour, their driver’s license is suspended by the court for a period of not less than ninety days.
Some of the common ways that eluding are charged in Prince William County include attempts by law enforcement officers to execute a traffic stop and a person simply does not see or hear the officer until they have been followed for some time and the officer then believes that the signal has been disregarded. Another way that this is charged is that in some cases individuals will know that there are warrants for their arrest and because they do not want to be arrested, they attempt to escape from the police when the police officer attempts to traffic stop.
What officers look for when pulling someone over for eluding is how long it took the person to stop, whether a visual signal only was given or whether both an audible and a visual signal was given, as well as whether the person attempted to use a high rate of speed or made numerous turns prior to ultimately stopping for police.
Is AEO a Common Offense In Prince William?
Eluding is a fairly common offense in Prince William County. This has to do primarily with people being distracted when they drive and not noticing or obeying law enforcement officers as quickly as they should have. In some cases people attempt to make a quick turn or see if they can get away from the police.
Prosecutors in Prince William County take eluding charges very seriously. Any time there is an offense which involves disregard or disrespect of the police or which endangers the police, prosecutors do their best to make sure that offenders are prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
If someone is charged with an eluding case in Prince William County, they should expect that in the case of a misdemeanor the case will be heard in the Prince William County General District Court and that is where the trial and any plea agreement that may be appropriate will take place. If a person is charged with any of the felony versions of eluding, they can expect to have a preliminary hearing in the General District Court, but ultimately for their case to be tried in the Prince William County Circuit Court.
Benefits of Hiring an Attempting to Elude Lawyer in Prince William
A Prince William County attempting to elude lawyer can help by knowing what the most common defenses to that charge are by knowing what the most common tactics of the prosecution are as well as by knowing the officers, prosecutors, and judges who participate in the process.
Additionally an attorney in Prince William can create a defense for your specific case. One example is if the person can show they reasonably believe that they were being pursued by someone other than the law enforcement officer. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.