Columbia Attempt to Elude an Officer Lawyer

In South Carolina, a charge of failure to stop when the police activate lights or a siren can be made when a person fails to pull over after a reasonable amount of time. The law is stated under Title 56-5750, citing the absence of mitigating circumstances. It is unlawful for a motorist to fail to stop while driving on a road, street, or highway when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle by means of a siren or flashing light.

Speeding up or otherwise attempting to avoid a pursuing law enforcement vehicle is prima facie evidence of a violation. The law also states that a failure to see the flashing light or hear the siren is not an excuse for not stopping when the distance between the vehicles or the road.

Attempts to evade an officer happen quite often in Columbia, and it is usually related to some type of traffic violation or a report of a stolen vehicle. The officer will get behind a car to pull them over because of a traffic violation, any type of traffic violation, and the car just doesn’t stop or tries to speed off.

If you have been accused of attempting to elude an officer, a knowledgeable traffic defense attorney could help your case. Speak to a Columbia attempt to elude an officer lawyer to get started building a defense.

Understanding Attempt to Elude Offense

The elements of an attempt to elude an officer in Columbia are pretty broad, but it occurs when a police officer turns on their siren or flashing light. If the driver does not attempt to pull over to the side of the road within a reasonable amount of time and distance, that would constitute a failure to stop. An officer’s determination that a driver is attempting to evade them is fairly straightforward. If the person is making evasive maneuvers, the officer gets to make that determination. They have the discretion to decide that the person failed to stop when signaled by law enforcement.

If the officer has not activated their siren or flashing light, a person who exits a highway after seeing a police officer clock their speed does not constitute an attempt to evade. However, if the officer has activated a siren or flashing light or otherwise made it clear they were trying to stop a person, then they would be on notice to pull over.

An officer attempting to pull someone over for attempting to evade is on high alert. They tend to believe that the person may be avoiding them or try to get rid of evidence. It is a pretty contentious traffic stop because they are afraid of what the next step would be if the person had an active warrant out for their arrest, or was trying to get rid of drugs.

Safe Place to Pull Over

It is common for a driver to keep driving to find a safe place to pull over and have it misinterpreted as an attempt to evade an officer. The defense is that they were not attempting to avoid being pulled over, they were seeking a safe place to do so. The stop is at the discretion of the officer and ultimately could be an issue they would have to fight in court at a later date. If they believe they are in absolute danger, they should slow down and make sure that it is reasonable for the officer to believe that they are trying their best to stop.

Penalties of a Conviction

Drivers in a case of attempting to evade an officer should expect that a lot of the prosecutors and police officers take the charge very seriously, and they are assertive as a result. Some judges will give a probationary supervision sentence in addition to the 90 days to three years.

Attempting to evade an officer in Columbia is a misdemeanor if it is the first offense, and carries a fine of not less than $500 or imprisonment for between 90 days and three years for a first offense. And, the DMV must suspend the person’s driver’s license for at least 30 days.

An experienced Columbia attempt to elude an officer attorney could review the facts of the case and help determine if they are any mitigating factors.

How a Columbia Attempt to Elude an Officer Attorney Could Help

A traffic lawyer can help people facing a charge of attempting to evade an officer by presenting mitigating evidence that may show the person did not intend to evade the officer. They need to prove that they were just seeking a safe place on the side of the road. It is essential to seek help from a lawyer who is trained in dealing with police officers and prosecutors, knows how the judges interact with these types of cases, and knows how to present the best case possible.

Discuss your case with a Columbia attempt to elude an officer lawyer today.