What started as a routine traffic stop for having no insurance turned into a felony police chase with five children in the car.
Kevin Roberts was pulled over for having no insurance. After police discovered that there were five unrestrained children in the car, Roberts took off onto I-20. Officers then chased him about a half a mile down the interstate before he was boxed in.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline one of the offenses faced by Roberts in today's post - fleeing the police.
Fleeing the Police in Georgia
Fleeing the police in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law 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.
The statute above is only one part of the law considering fleeing the police however. If a person is convicted for violating this portion of the law - even for a first time offense, then he or she will be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. A conviction means a penalty that can include up to $5,000 in fines as well as 12 months of jail time.
The statute then goes on to define situations in which fleeing or attempting to elude is classified as a felony offense. The law is as follows:
Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section 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
If a person is convicted for violating this portion of the law, the he or she will 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.
As you can see from the law and the story above, the defendant - based on the reported facts - is facing a charge of felony fleeing. This means that Roberts is facing some serious consequences.
However, until Roberts either pleads guilty or is found guilty by a court of law, he is to be presumed innocent. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.