Jacksonville is major city with a large population of diverse people . These people come from all points of the nation. Laws governing conduct when responding to directions of a law enforcement officer to stop are often misunderstood, making many feel safe in evading the police. If one has been charged with such a crime, one should obtain an experienced attorney.
Brevard County deputies captured John F. Meadows, a gun-wielding man who fled from a traffic stop Monday afternoon on Merritt Island, crashed the car and took off on foot, Fernez said. Deputies launched a search of the area, and subsequently Meadows was arrested. Officials said two guns were found inside Meadows’ apartment there. The man is being held in Brevard County jail on charges of resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and leaving the scene of a crime.
Florida’s fleeing and eluding statute targets motorists who create high speed chases in an attempt to escape from the police. Fleeing and eluding is a very serious criminal offense under Florida law. You can incur felony penalties if convicted and have your driver’s license suspended and you vehicle impounded. You must act quickly to avoid the ramifications inherent with a fleeing and eluding conviction in Florida.
Under Florida State Statute 316.1935(1) it is third degree felony, punishable by five years in Florida State Prison, for a driver to unlawfully fail to stop after having knowledge that he or she is being ordered to stop by a law enforcement officer. This includes situations where the driver willfully refuses to stop or fails to stop a vehicle in compliance with the order, or attempts to willfully flee in an attempt to elude the officer after having stopped. If convicted of this offense, the court in must revoke the driver’s license for 1 to 5 years.
The elements of the offense that the prosecuting attorney must prove at trial, beyond all reasonable doubt, include the following:
– The defendant was operating a vehicle upon a street or highway in Florida.
– A duly authorized law enforcement officer ordered the defendant to stop or remain stopped.
– The defendant knowing that he or she had been ordered to stop by a duly authorized law enforcement officer did one of the following:
willfully refused or failed to stop the vehicle in compliance with the order; or
having stopped the vehicle, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude the officer.
Many times, when the accused has been charged with evading police, police will claim a reasonable person would know that a police officer is attempting to pull them over. Unfortunately, factors such as high speed chases, sirens activated or causing bodily injury because of the chase may cause the State to press harder to convict on of the elevated punishments associated with these types of charges.
Remember, the State must still prove that one, as the driver, knowing an order to stop had been given by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude a law enforcement officer; and that the law enforcement officer was in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle and with siren and lights activated.
Any circumstances that leads one to being charged with a crime still entitles one to seek legal assistance to ensure that one‘s rights under the law is protected. One who finds themselves in this situation needs an experienced defense attorney to assist in ensuring one’s rights are protected. Fortunately, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville theft crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will not be a victim in a fight one cannot win on one’s own.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: <a href="http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130709/CRIME/130709005/Suspect-who-fled-traffic-stop-nabbed-Merritt-Island" Suspect who fled traffic stop nabbed on Merritt Island, Stacey Barchenger, Florida-Today