Three men have been accused of stealing a vehicle and then attempting to flee from police after a routine traffic stop attempt. According to reports, Atlanta police attempted to pull over a vehicle that had been reported a stolen SUV. During their attempt, the driver of the vehicle allegedly led the police on a brief chase.
The three occupants of the vehicle then jumped out of the car and fled on foot near Howell Mill and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Two of the occupants have been detained, but the third is still wanted by the Atlanta Police Department. In today's post, I will outline the law behind fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in Georgia 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).
Usually, a first-time conviction for fleeing or attempting to elude the police in Georgia will be treated as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The penalty can include a fine between $500 and $5,000, and a jail term between 10 days and twelve months.
However, there are certain situations that cause the offense to be elevated to a felony offense. These 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.
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.
As a Georgia DUI Attorney, it's important for me to note that just because someone has been accused of committing a crime does not mean that they are guilty of committing that particular crime.
Right now, the three occupants of the car have been accused of not only stealing a car but of also fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement officers in Atlanta. All of them will need serious representation because they are facing some serious charges and consequences. There are two sides to every story, and as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I understand how vital this concept is to everyone's case.