Two men were reported dead last week after a wreck in southeast Atlanta.
The wreck occurred as a result of high speed chase involving United States Marshals. The federal officers attempted to execute an arrest warrant for homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault at a residence nearby. When they arrived to arrest the suspects, two unknown men fled the home in an SUV. They continued to flee but lost control around a curve.
The vehicle struck a utility pole which led to the deaths of both men.
Police chases are making more and more headlines all around the country - in particular Georgia. We have experienced various deadly crashes resulting from police chases in the past several months.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind fleeing or attempting to elude in the state of Georgia.
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.
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.
There are also certain conditions that cause the offense to be classified as a felony offense. Felony fleeing has very serious consequences. These conditions 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 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.
Drivers typically make the decision to attempt to flee or elude police when they are in fear of being arrested. This very rarely results in a temporary escape. The reality is that fleeing officers is extremely dangerous.
If you have been arrested for an offense relating to DUI in Georgia, call our offices now.