An unidentified Georgia man was shot by an Atlanta Police Officer after allegedly fleeing the scene after the officer attempted to flag him down. According to reports, a gunfight occurred outside a strip club in SW Atlanta. Officers were called to the scene. The unidentified man fled the scene when officers arrived. The chase resulted in a subsequent foot chase ending in the man being shot. He died at the scene.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind fleeing or attempting to elude in today's post.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer in Georgia
Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-395 of the Georgia Code.
The first part of the statute outlines a misdemeanor level of fleeing or attempting to elude 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.
Any person violating the provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and: upon conviction shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, which fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation and imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months. Any period of such imprisonment in excess of ten days may, in the sole discretion of the judge, be suspended, stayed, or probated.
If convicted of misdemeanor level fleeing, then the penalty can include 12 months in jail and fines up to $5,000 as well as a high and aggravated misdemeanor conviction.
The second part of the statute outlines the situations that elevate the offense to a felony. It is outlined as the following list:
Any person, who while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer in an attempt to escape arrest for any offense, other than a violation of this chapter not expressly provided for in this paragraph:
(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… shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years or both.
If convicted of felony level fleeing, then the potential penalty includes up to 5 years in prison.
The media tends to focus on highly dramatized versions of fleeing or attempting to elude officers - usually where a death is involved or a serious high-speed chase. However, this is not always the case.
A lot of the time we see charges of fleeing accompany charges of DUI in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today.