LaGrange, Ga. - Authorities associated with multiple different agencies are searching for a suspect driver who allegedly fled from police in an incident in Coweta County.
Police closed down part of I-85 earlier this afternoon in an attempt to locate the driver. The incident started with an alleged domestic dispute. The suspect involved ending up fleeing the residence and driving onto I-85. Georgia State Troopers chased the driver but once the vehicle crashed, the suspect jumped out of the wrecked vehicle and ran away on foot.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offense of fleeing the police in today's post in order to provide some clarity.
Fleeing the 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.
Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia. We can help you now.