Evading a Peace Officer

In Calfornia, Vehicle Code 2800.1 is called misdemeanor evading. A violation of Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC is called felony reckless evading. Both of these offenses are closely related to Penal Code 148 PC California’s ‘resisting arrest’ law.

Under California law, if you are operating a motor vehicle and willfully flee or attempt to evade a peace officer performing his or her duties, then you can be charged with a misdemeanor. The crime of evading a peace officer is a serious criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 1 year under CVC §2800.1.

Defenses to this serious criminal offense usually involve a showing that the driver’s lack of intent to evade because the driver drove a little too far while looking for a safe place to stop. In other cases, the driver has a defense because he or she was not aware of the verbal command, horn, and hand signal, but refuses to comply with the command to stop.

The crime of evading a peace officer in California can be charged as a felony if the crime involved an accident that caused serious bodily injury or death.

Attorneys for Evading a Peace Officer in San Francisco

If you were charged with willfully fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Ticket Crushers. With offices in San Francisco, we represent clients charged with serious traffic crimes involving a motor vehicle including fleeing to elude, unlawful exhibition of speed, racing on highways, reckless driving, and driving on a revoked or suspended driver license.

Our experienced traffic attorneys also represent professional drivers in the trucking industry and holders of a commercial driver’s license, for crimes and traffic violations allegedly committed in a commercial motor vehicle.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today.


Elements of Fleeing or Attempting to Evade in San Francisco, CA

For prosecutions in San Francisco, CA, of the statute prohibiting fleeing or attempting to evade or elude a law enforcement officer, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the offense:

  1. the driver was operating a motor vehicle;
  2. while operating the vehicle, the driver acted with the intent to evade;
  3. the driver willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle;
  4. the driver is aware or reasonably should have been aware of the verbal command, horn, and hand signal, but refuses to comply with the command to stop;
  5. the officer lawfully attempted to stop the vehicle by:
    • exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp;
    • sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary
    • driving a vehicle that was distinctively marked;
    • driving a motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and while the peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform;
    • driving a bicycle that is distinctively marked;
    • driving a bicycle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform;
    • giving a verbal command to stop;
    • sounding a horn that produces a sound of at least 115 decibels;
    • giving a hand signal commanding the person to stop.

The current version of Section 2800.1. became effective on January 1, 2006.


Evading a Peace Officers Causing Serious Bodily Injury

California law provides for even harsher penalties of the incident of attempting to evade a peace officer caused serious bodily injury during the course of a police pursuit. Under CVC §2800.3(a)), the penalties and punishments for fleeing and evading a peace officer include imprisonment in a state prison for 3, 5, or 7 years or in a county jail for not more than 1 year. The fine for this felony offense is not less than $2,000 or more than $10,000 (or both a fine and imprisonment).


Evading a Peace Officer Causing Death

The most serious accusations for willing fleeing or attempting to evade a peace officer involve a traffic homicide investigation after a death. If a person is convicted of manslaughter resulting from evading police during a pursuit, he or she is subject to imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum of 4 to 10 years (CVC §2800.3(b)).


Additional Resources

2800.1. – Visit the website of the California Legislature to find the text of various code sections under California law including administrative and enforcement provisions contained in Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3., and Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. related to lawful orders. Find the text of CVC 2800.1. which prohibits any person who is operating a motor vehicle from willfully fleeing or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle with the intent to evade the officer. The offense of fleeing to elude is charged as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail.