Annapolis Attempting to Elude an Officer Charges
In order to convict an individual of attempting to elude an officer in Annapolis, a prosecutor must prove that the individual willfully failed to stop after an officer instructed them to do so. Moreover, such a prosecutor must establish the officer was readily identifiable as an officer and gave the driver a noticeable signal to stop.
When instructing a driver to pull over, an officer will typically turn on their sirens and lights, signaling the driver to stop their vehicle. A driver will be cited for attempting to evade an officer if, upon such signals, the driver begins to drive recklessly or erratically, or if they turn off their vehicle lights in an attempt to flee the officer. There are consequences for attempting to elude an officer in Annapolis, and if you are facing such charges, it is beneficial to have an experienced traffic attorney in Annapolis help build your case.
Attempting to elude an officer is considered a traffic misdemeanor. Therefore, any individual charged with attempting to elude an officer is required to appear in court. Because a conviction of attempting to elude an officer holds the potential of jail time, the Office of the State’s Attorney prosecutes these cases in Annapolis.
The penalties associated with a citation for attempting to elude an officer include a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a fine, and 12 points on the individual’s driver’s record.
Classifications of Eluding an Officer
If an individual purposely exits the highway after seeing an officer gauge their speed, this is not considered eluding an officer. An officer gauging a driver’s speed using a radar device is not the same as an officer signaling that driver to pull over and stop their vehicle. Under such circumstances, the officer has given no indication they want the driver to pull over and so the driver is not intentionally eluding the officer by exiting the highway.
If a driver continues to drive after an officer has signaled for them to pull over, such an action is not considered eluding an officer if the driver is looking for a safe place to pull over as it is not the intention of the driver to elude the officer. However, under such circumstances, the driver should turn on their hazard lights to notify the officer they are aware of the officer’s presence.
Attempting to elude an officer is a common offense in Annapolis as Annapolis has many open roads and highway accesses. Such roads and accesses provide drivers with considerable space and opportunity to flee officers.
Cases involving attempts to elude an officer are taken very seriously in Annapolis because the driving associated with such charges poses a danger to both other drivers and the involved officer. Because of this danger, judges in Annapolis have a desire to deter attempts to elude police, and so it is common for judges to administer severe penalties to those who have been convicted of this offense.