Dashcam evidence allegedly shows Cobb County motorcyclist, Michael Leverett, traveling at speeds over 100 MPH on Windy Hill Road while being chased by police.
Authorities eventually found Leverett at his job later that same day through an anonymous tip and recognition of his motorcycle. According to reports, he's escaped Smyrna police on multiple occasions by driving at these speeds before. Officers stated that they were forced to call off chases of his motorcycle because the road conditions were too dangerous during the prior situations to continue at such high speeds. When they finally arrested him this past week, he allegedly stated that he was just trying to get to work on time.
Leverett is also facing a charge of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia. This offense is widely misunderstood, so as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will elaborate on the law behind this offense, and how exactly it applies to Leverett's alleged actions in today's post.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
Fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:
It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle. O.C.G.A. §40-6-395(a).
In most situations, a first conviction for fleeing or attempting to elude the police in Georgia will be treated as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The fine will be between $500 and $5,000, and the jail term could be between 10 days and twelve months.
However the present case falls into a more serious category of fleeing or attempting to elude if the facts that have been presented against Leverett can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.
As I mentioned above, most of the time, a first conviction for fleeing or attempting to elude is considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor in Georgia. However, there are certain situations where the accused person will be charged with a felony for fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia. These situations look pretty similar to Leverette's case in Cobb County.
The situations include operating a vehicle 20 MPH over the posted speed limit, striking or colliding with another vehicle or pedestrian, fleeing in traffic conditions that place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries, or leaving the state of Georgia.
This means that even if it's the accused first time committing the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude it will be considered a felony offense. A conviction for felony fleeing or attempting to elude can include fines up to $5,000 and a prison term from one year to up to five years.
Bottom line, Leverett is facing some serious charges and is in need of representation by a Georgia DUI Attorney who understands that just because someone has been accused of a crime does not mean that they are guilty of the criminal offense. Yes, the “evidence” against Leverett seems like a lot right now according to the media and statements made by officers. But the reality is that there are two sides to every story. Our aim is to best defend our clients' rights and freedom, so if you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia or a DUI Related Offense in Georgia, contact us today.