Conyers, Ga. - According to Rockdale County Police, three Decatur residents were arrested for breaking into vehicles last week at Stonecrest Court in Conyers.
When police arrived at the scene, however, the three suspects jumped into a vehicle and attempted to flee the scene. The police chase that ensued ended the way police chases typically end - in a crash. Luckily, no one was injured. The three then made an attempt to run away on foot but were quickly apprehended and detained by authorities.
They have been tied to other break-ins in DeKalb as well as Henry County. The Sheriff's Office stated, “This incident is still being investigated to try and determine how many counties have been affected or were victimized by these subjects.”
Although the primary crime in this case is the offense of entering auto, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I have more interest in crimes that are related and commonly connected to DUI in Georgia. Here, the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude police is such a crime. Read below.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police in Georgia
Fleeing the Police in Georgia is outlined in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395 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.
A first time offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor in the state of Georgia. This means that if a person is convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude, he or she is facing up to 12 months of jail time as well as fines up to $5,000.
However, there are circumstances that can exacerbate the penalties associated with a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude. These circumstances include when a driver flees and:
(i) Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
(ii) Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
(iii) Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
(iv) Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
(v) Leaves the state.
If a driver flees under any one of the above-mentioned circumstances, then a person is facing a felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude.
As you can see, the offense itself can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances involved in the case. If you or a loved one has been arrested in connection to any serious traffic crimes, call our offices now. We can help you today.