Disregarding a Police Officer’s Signal (Eluding)
In Virginia, eluding police (Va. Code §46.2-817) is disregarding a police officer’s signal to stop. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony and is punishable by jail (or prison), fines, and mandatory driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Virginia Code §46.2-817 reads:
What does the prosecutor have to prove?
To prove that a driver is guilty of misdemeanor eluding the Commonwealth must prove 1) the driver received a visible or audible signal from the police to bring his vehicle to a stop; and 2) that the driver drove the vehicle in a willful and wanton disregard of the signal OR that the driver attempts to escape or elude the police, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
To prove that a driver is guilty of felony eluding the Commonwealth must prove 1) the driver received a visible or audible signal from the police to bring his vehicle to a stop; and 2) that the driver drove the vehicle in a willful and wanton disregard of the signal so as to interfere with or endanger the operation of the law enforcement vehicle or endanger a person.
- Misdemeanor Eluding is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable with up to 6 months in jail, a fine up to $1000, and driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 30 days, up to 12 months. However, if the offender was driving more than 20 miler per hour over the posted speed limit while eluding police, his driver’s license must be suspended for a minimum of 90 days and can be suspended up to 12 months (Va. Code §46.2-817(C)).
- Felony Eluding is a Class 6 felony, punishable with up to 5 years in prison, a fine up to $2500, and driver’s license revocation for 1 year (Va. Code §46.2-817, Va. Code §46.2-389(A)(5)).
Beyond the immediate penalties associated with a conviction for eluding, other collateral consequences are also at play. Insurance premiums are likely to increase. Your education or employment opportunities may be hindered: if you are subject to a background check for employment, security clearance, or immigration, an eluding conviction could affect your future.
If you find yourself charged with eluding in Virginia, contact an experienced Virginia traffic defense attorney. An initial consultation with a TATE BYWATER attorney is complimentary. We’ll discuss your case and work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. We’re here to help!