Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Charges Associated With Fleeing Law Enforcement

Sometimes drivers who fear that they will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol make decisions which take what is already a bad situation and make it much, much worse. When a driver flees from law enforcement officers who are attempting to stop their vehicle, they endanger their own lives as well as the lives of others. Their behavior is not only dangerous; it is also likely to lead to additional charges which would not have been brought if they had allowed the initial traffic stop to take place.

A recent car chase in Harvey County is an example of what can happen when drivers flee from law enforcement and attempt to evade arrest. Early one morning, an officer who was patrolling a residential neighborhood noticed a vehicle that was being operated in a suspicious way. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle in order to issue a traffic violation, the driver refused to stop.

The driver led the officer, along with other law enforcement officials who were assisting in the chase, on a high speed pursuit. During the chase the vehicle eventually became disabled, but the driver and his passengers fled on foot, still hoping to evade arrest. The driver made it about a hundred feet from the car before he was apprehended. Two passengers were detained shortly thereafter, and the third passenger was apprehended later on.

As you might imagine, the driver faces numerous charges, including felony theft (the car was stolen), DUI, felony flee and elude, and minor in possession of alcohol. The passengers also face charges, including obstruction of official duty.

The decision to flee from law enforcement is often made impulsively, when a driver realizes that they are about to be pulled over by the police and it is possible that they might be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. As you might imagine, DUI charges come with consequences. However, fleeing from law enforcement can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending upon exactly what happened during the pursuit.

Defendants who are charged with fleeing and/or eluding should know that there are defenses against these charges which may be available to you, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Kansas law recognizes that drivers occasionally make mistakes when they are driving, including failing to stop for a vehicle that appears to be pursuing them. Sometimes, it may not be readily apparent, for example, that a law enforcement officer who is in the roadway directing traffic is asking you to pull over to the side of the road instead of motioning for you to move in some direction. Drivers may not realize that they are being pursued by an official police vehicle, so they may fail to stop for an officer who is trying to stop them without actually intending to flee from the officer.

As with any type of DUI case, cases where DUI charges are combined with charges for fleeing or evading can be complicated. An experienced Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney can assess the unique facts of your case and build a solid defense to present on your behalf. Your Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney can also help you to understand and evaluate any alternative courses of action which may be made available to you throughout the course of your criminal case. To learn more, call (316) 264-1548 to speak with a Kansas Criminal Defense Attorney today.