These evading arrest cases are very serious in Los Angeles because people could be killed on the highways. It puts not only citizens in jeopardy, it also puts the police in jeopardy because they have to deal with these cases.
So, they take them seriously. They're typically going to try to put somebody in prison if they have a legitimate felony evading case under California Vehicle Code 2800.2.
Various Factors Determine How an Evading Arrest Case Will Be Filed
What really decides is relevant relating to whether a case will be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor when it comes to an evading case in Los Angeles, is a number of different factors.
For example, the length of the chase is one of the big factors that they look at. Whether or not the person ran a particular number of red lights of stop signs, because that's looking at the dangerousness level of the evading.
I had case recently that was certainly an evading case because the client ran from the police, but she had gotten in a fight with her family member and then she ended up driving around the block and just driving right back to the house.
It was less than a mile. That's going to be a misdemeanor evading case under California Vehicle Code 2800.1, if you need an example of a misdemeanor evading case.
Whereas, the extreme example of a felony evading case is, you run six red lights, you're dangerous, it's a 10-mile chase, they have to get a helicopter involved — obviously, that's going to be a felony evading case.
So, that gives you a pretty good feel for the extremes as far as felony versus misdemeanor evading cases go.
Where it starts to get a little more murky is in these cases where something in between happens. Maybe the chase is only a mile or two, and the person only runs a couple of red lights. These are things that you're going to need to sit down and talk to your defense attorney about.
Prosecutors Make Filing Decision on Evading Arrest Case in Los Angeles
The prosecutors will make their filing decision when they get the case. The police might book you for a felony evading and give you a $30,000 or $50,000 bail and then you go into court and the prosecutor decides to not file a felony evading charge against you.
Or, they decide to file a felony evading charge and somebody like me, who has a lot of experience, is able to convince them to give you a misdemeanor evading case.
Really, if you want to try to get a feel for it — and idea of felony versus misdemeanor — look at the length of the chase. Look at how many lights or stop signs are ran. Look at whether there are pedestrians out on the road.
Look at how dangerous the situation was for the police and society, and also look at the person's criminal record. If you have a horrible driving record and you have a prior evading case on your hands, you can bet your bottom dollar, the prosecutor is going to do everything they can to file and convict you of a felony evading charge.
So, the first thing you need to do when you're evaluating felony versus misdemeanor evading, is talk to a criminal defense attorney. I've been doing this so long, I am going to be able to see the fact pattern.
You're going to tell me what happened and I'll give you an idea of whether or not I think it should be filed as a felony. I've seen somebody just try to avoid getting a ticket, so they quickly skirt down a street and go a couple of miles away, and the police end up finding him and they try to charge him with a felony evading. That's ridiculous.
The police didn't even see him run any stoplights or do anything crazy to jeopardize anybody. They're just mad at the person because they tried to get away and avoid a traffic ticket. That' snot a felony evading. That should be filed as a misdemeanor.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
That's where an experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to convince the prosecutors that that case is not worth a felony. Maybe it's not even worth an evading depending on the circumstances.
So, there's no exact science when it comes to criminal defense, evading in Los Angeles. The factors — the one main factor the prosecutors are going to look at is — how dangerous was your behavior to the community and police.
The more dangerous, the more likely it is they are going to file it as a felony. The less dangerous, the less likely it's going to be filed as a felony and the more likely you'll be able to avoid that felony conviction with the evading charge in Los Angeles.
So, pick the phone up now. We can talk about your evading case. I can see what I can do to get you the right result.
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