Published on 8/28/2023, 1:14:00 PM
How to Beat a Fleeing and Eluding Charge in Maryland
In the moonlit alleys of Baltimore, John, an IT professional, notices the flashing lights of a patrol car behind him. Panicking, thinking of his pristine record and the speeding ticket he might incur, he decides to make a quick turn into a side street to lose the Officer. Before he knows it, he's faced with a charge far more severe than speeding - fleeing and eluding.
Such instances, borne out of momentary lapses in judgment, can have profound consequences. Here, we delve into understanding the intricacies of Maryland's "fleeing and eluding" charge and how, with the right legal counsel, you can challenge it.
Understanding the 'Fleeing and Eluding' Charge
In Maryland, "fleeing and eluding" isn't merely evading a traffic stop. It's categorized into several degrees based on the situation's severity. The charge could range from failing to stop when signaled by a uniformed officer to fleeing in a manner that endangers others.
Types of Fleeing and Eluding
1. Flee and Elude by Vehicle
This offense occurs when a person willfully fails to stop their vehicle after a Police Officer gives a visual or audible signal to stop, or a marked Police vehicle gives a visual or audible signal to stop.
2. Flee and Elude on Foot
This offense occurs when a person flees a Police Officer or Vehicle on foot after being requested to stop.
Penalties upon Conviction
A fleeing and eluding conviction isn't light. Penalties range from heavy fines to imprisonment. For a first offense of fleeing and eluding a person faces a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. Repeat offenders face up to two years in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
A flee and elude conviction also carries twelve points on a person's driving record, which can result in driver's license suspension
Enhanced Penalties for Flee and Elude Offenses
There are enhanced penalties for flee and elude under certain circumstances. For example, a person can face up to three years in jail and/or a $1,000 fine if a person commits this offense while fleeing from apprehension for a crime of violence, or causes bodily injury to another person during the fleeing.
If the flee and elude results in a death to another person, the sentence increases up to a maximum of 10 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Beyond legal repercussions, your career prospects could dwindle, and social stigmas could emerge with such a charge on your record.
Roadmap to beating the charge
A. Retaining Expert Legal Counsel
The labyrinth of legal defenses isn't one to navigate solo. Securing a seasoned criminal defense lawyer specializing in 'fleeing and eluding' is paramount. Their expertise often tilts the scales towards reduced or dismissed charges.
B. Analyzing the Evidence
Dashcam footage, officer testimonies, or even eye-witness accounts form the prosecution's arsenal. A shrewd attorney can spot inconsistencies or violations, potentially undermining the charge's foundation.
C. Legal Defenses - Challenging the Traffic Stop
Was the traffic stop lawful? Did the officer have probable cause? Sometimes, the initial stop itself lacks legality, providing a potential avenue for dismissal.
D. Evaluating the Officer's Conduct
Misconduct, like not identifying oneself as an officer or not following procedural protocols, can turn the case in the defendant's favor. Such discrepancies need an astute eye to spot and challenge.
F. Factual Challenges at trial
Was it truly John behind the wheel? Could he have reasonably seen the patrol car's signals in time? Factual nuances, often overlooked, can profoundly influence the case's outcome.
Often Flee and Elude charges arise after a person "gets away". If the person escaped - just because they had John's car - can the State really prove it was him driving?
These defenses must be raised at trial, unless your attorney can convince the State not to proceed at all.
Why Hire FrizWoods LLC?
Client Reviews and Testimonials
Our clients' voices echo our commitment louder than any accolade. Their journeys, from apprehension to relief, are chronicled in their testimonials. Experience their stories on FrizWoods' reviews page.
Our Approach to Defense
We believe in meticulousness. Every piece of evidence, every witness testimony, and even the prosecution's strategy is rigorously analyzed. Our dedication lies in preserving your rights and safeguarding your reputation.
Fleeing and eluding charges in Maryland are severe, but not insurmountable. With the right guidance, informed decisions, and a relentless defense, the road ahead becomes less daunting.
Speak with a lawyer today.
If you or someone you know faces such a charge, don't delay. Every moment counts. Trust in FrizWoods LLC's experience and commitment to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us today and let our experts take the lead in your defense.
The Impact of 'Fleeing and Eluding' on Future Opportunities
A. Employment Consequences
A conviction can make job hunting extremely challenging, especially if the job involves driving or operating machinery. Many employers are hesitant to hire someone with such a charge on their record.
Personal and Social Repercussions
Beyond the legal penalties, there's a social stigma associated with a fleeing and eluding conviction. It can strain personal relationships and lead to a loss of trust within one's community.
Car insurance premiums can skyrocket after such a conviction, making it financially straining for the accused even after serving any legal penalties.
Prevention: Understanding Your Rights
Right to a Safe Stop
Understand that you have a right to find a safe location to pull over when signaled by police. Briefly signaling your intent can help prevent misunderstandings.
Right to Remain Silent
Right to Legal Representation
Never underestimate the value of having a competent attorney by your side. From the moment you're charged, your rights and your future are at stake.