What are the Penalties for Not Pulling Over for an Officer?
Fleeing and eluding an officer, including not pulling over for a traffic stop, is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by criminal fines of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
It makes for a dramatic scene in a movie, or even in a true crime documentary, or on the evening news when a car tries to speed away from a police patrol car that has signaled for it to pull over. If you try to drive away when the blue flashing lights tell you to stop, though, it will only make things worse. High-speed car chases belong in action movies, not in real life. Driving at high speeds under any circumstances increases the risk of a collision resulting in injuries or death. Even if you do not get into an accident, you can be charged with fleeing and eluding an officer, which is a criminal misdemeanor according to Texas law. It is hard to see the big picture, though, when there is a police car behind you, and you have a reasonable fear that the traffic stop will lead to legal trouble, such as if your driver’s license is under suspension or if there are illegal drugs in your car. If a police officer wants you to stop, you should exercise your legal rights during the traffic stop and then contact the Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker to help you fight any criminal charges that arise from the traffic stop.
What Are Your Obligations at a Traffic Stop?
If a police car flashes its lights to signal for you to pull over, then the law requires you to pull off the road for a traffic stop. You must show the officer your driver’s license and vehicle registration to the officer upon request. Beyond that, you do not have to answer any questions. Officers often come up with flimsy excuses to search your car and try to provoke you to anger, but your goal is to get through the traffic stop so you can contact a criminal defense lawyer. Remember that most traffic stops, even if they lead to an arrest, do not result in criminal convictions.
Texas Fleeing and Eluding Laws
Texas law defines the crime of fleeing and eluding an officer as trying to get away from a law enforcement officer on foot or in a vehicle. Fleeing and eluding an officer is a class B misdemeanor. If you are convicted of fleeing and eluding an officer, your sentence can include a criminal fine of up to $2,000 and a sentence of 180 days in county jail or on community supervision, also known as probation.
Contact the Fort Worth Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About Criminal Defense Cases
A criminal defense attorney can help you exercise your rights if you are facing criminal charges for fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss your case.