Evading a Police Officer in a Vehicle – California Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC

California Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC makes it a crime to evade a police officer in a vehicle. Said differently, it makes it a crime for a person to use his vehicle to flee from a police officer while the police officer is pursuing a person using a vehicle or bike. If you have been charged with evading a police officer in your car, you should not such a criminal charge lightly as a conviction for evading a police officer can result in imprisonment for up to one year in county jail, as well as payment of a fine of up to $1,000.

If you have been charged with evading a police officer in a vehicle, you should immediately contact an experienced evading a police officer defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. We have defended countless clients over the years, so we have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Vehicle Code Section 2800.1 VC – Evading a Police Officer in a Vehicle

According to California Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC, “Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.

(2) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.

(3) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked.

(4) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer”

Proving a Person Guilty of Evading a Police Officer in a Vehicle – CVC 2800.1

For the prosecution to convict a person of evading a police officer in a vehicle in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 2800.1 VC, the prosecution must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one element, he will not be able to convict the defendant of this crime.

The prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant was being pursued by a police officer driving a vehicle
  • The defendant was also driving a vehicle
  • The defendant willfully fled from or attempted to elude or evade the police officer
  • The police officer had at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of his vehicle
  • The defendant saw or reasonably should have seen the officer’s red lamp
  • The police officer was sounding his siren
  • The police officer was in a distinctively marked vehicle
  • The police officer was wearing a distinctive law enforcement uniform

What are the Penalties for Evading a Police Officer in a Vehicle?

A person who is convicted of evading or attempting to flee from a police officer in his car faces the following potential penalties:

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
  • Imprisonment in the county jail for up to twelve months
  • Payment of a fine of up to $1,000
  • Completion of informal summary probation
  • Potential suspension of your driver’s license

Note: The court is free to impose additional punishments as it sees fit. Every case is different, and so the consequences may differ.

Evading a Police Officer in a Vehicle Defenses

If you have been charged with evading a police officer in your automobile in violation of Vehicle Code Section 2800.1, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you and keep you from going to jail. Please note that the following list of defenses does not include all of the defenses that your attorney can make, but rather only some of the defenses that may be available to you.

Your attorney may use the following defenses:

  • The defendant did not have the intent to evade a police officer – This may be a complete defense because evading a police officer is a specific intent crime, so introducing evidence that the defendant did not have the intent to evade a police officer may be a complete defense to evading a police officer charges
  • The police officer did not turn his lights on – As part of its case, the prosecution must show that the police officer turned on his lights to pull over the defendant, so, showing that the defendant did not turn on any of his lights is a complete defense to evading charges
  • The defendant is being falsely accused of evading a police officer
  • The defendant did not act willfully
  • The defendant was responding to an emergency and could not stop for the police officer

Are There Immigration Consequences for Being Convicted of Evading a Police Officer?

No, it is unlikely that a person convicted of this crime will face negative because evading a police officer is not a crime that involves moral turpitude. Crimes involving moral turpitude are those that involve some sort of dishonest and deceit, evading a police officer does not fall within the category of crimes for which a person can be deported or marked as inadmissible to the United States.

Can you Get Your Conviction Expunged?

Criminal expungement allows a person to have a conviction removed from their criminal record. Fortunately, you may be able to have a conviction expunged (removed) from your criminal record because the crime of evading a police officer falls within the category of crimes that can be expunged. That said, to have your conviction removed, you must have completed your sentenced and completed all of the terms and conditions of your probation. Once completed, you can petition the court to have your conviction expunged from your criminal record.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with evading a police officer in violation of VC 503, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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