Authorities in Jonesboro have been searching for a driver who led Lovejoy police on a high speed police chase last week.
When they pulled the vehicle over that matched the description as well as the plates of the truck last week, they discovered much more than just the suspected driver. The stop led to the driver being detained and his truck being searched by deputies.
The search resulted in the seizure of 159 grams of methamphetamine as well as a small amount of marijuana. They also found a scale and a firearm in the truck. It was also determined that he had outstanding warrants for battery family violence and criminal trespass.
The suspect above is facing a fair amount of serious charges but as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus on the felony traffic violation that the suspect has been accused of committing - fleeing or attempting to elude.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude 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.
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.
The offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is highly related to charges of DUI in Georgia. Many drivers make the split second decision to get away from the cops and avoid an arrest if driving under the influence.
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