Jonesboro, Ga. - Police with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office were subjected to an internal investigation after a police chase involving a 16-year-old driver.
Two officers have been let go from the department after the teenage driver was shot several times during a police chase. The teenage driver was accused of driving at deputies and leading them to believe that he was going to strike them with his vehicle. Officers stated that that is why they ultimately opened fire.
The information from the internal investigation has not been released yet. The reason for the termination of the two officers is still unknown. However, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I would like to spend today's post focusing on the offense that led to the gunfire - fleeing or attempting to elude police.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395 defines Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police 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.
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 now if you have been arrested in the state of Georgia.