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Flee to Elude

It can result from multiple factors fear of arrest, anxiety, or just extreme nerves, but fleeing to attempt to elude law enforcement is an incredibly serious crime. If you are captured, then you’ll face felony-level penalties. That means expensive thousand-dollar fines you’re obligated to pay, and even time spent in prison. If you or someone you know has been arrested for fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, then it’s important you seek a defense attorney.

Although Florida law used to provide for a misdemeanor version of the offense, now these crimes are prosecuted as a felony. So, securing trusted legal representation with a background in obstruction of justice cases is incredibly important. Protect yourself and your future by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Attorney for Fleeing to Elude in West Palm Beach, FL

If you were charged with fleeing with an attempt to elude a law enforcement officer, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in West Palm Beach, FL. Call the firm to discuss the fact of your case, the pending charges against you, ways to avoid the typical penalties, and the most effective ways to fight for an outright dismissal of all criminal charges.

You can contact us at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today to discuss your case with an experienced traffic crimes attorney in West Palm Beach, FL. We will start charting out a sturdy defense structure to battle your charges. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Wellington and Boca Raton.

Overview of Flee to Elude Charges in FL


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What Does Florida Constitute as Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement?

Florida has implemented harsh penalties for those convicted of attempting to resist law or escape law enforcement when they are executing their legal duties. The purpose of this is to deter people from disobeying or harming officers while they are working. Florida has differing penalties for various flee to elude law enforcement scenarios, which include:

  • Standard Flee to Elude: Willfully refusing or failing to stop your vehicle in compliance or willfully attempt to flee the officer while having knowledge that you have been ordered to stop lawfully by the police officer
  • Lights/Sirens Activated: Intentionally fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement who is driving an authorized police vehicle with all the appropriate signs and insignias prominently displayed and with lights and sirens activated.
  • Lights/Sirens Activated with High Speeds or Reckless Driving: Knowingly ignoring an order to stop by law enforcement and attempting to elude the officer in an authorized vehicle with both lights and sirens on. All the while driving at high speeds or in reckless manner.
  • Lights/Sirens Activated with High Speeds or Reckless Driving Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death: Choosing to ignore an order to stop by an officer who is in authorized vehicle with both lights and sirens and attempting to elude the officer by driving at high speed or recklessly. During the course of the fleeing or attempt to elude, drove at a high speed or in any manner demonstrating a wanton disregard for the safety or people or property and as a result of these reckless actions another person sustained serious bodily injury or died.

It’s important to know that the term “serious bodily injury” has a specific meaning in the Florida Statutes. A serious bodily injury is any type of injury with a substantial risk of death, results in permanent disfigurement or the protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ.


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Penalties for Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement in FL

The penalties for fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer increased based on the factors of the case. Charges where the officer had their lights and sirens on, there was a high-speed case or whether the chase caused personal injury or death. A conviction for fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer without aggravating factors is a third-degree felony.

The penalties for a third-degree felony include:

  • Up to 5 years in prison;
  • A possible fine of up to $5,000; and
  • A minimum 1-year driver’s license suspension

If the officer activated their lights and sirens, then the crime is still considered a third-degree felony. However, if the driver initiated a high-speed chase or drove recklessly during the crime then the crime is enhanced to a second-degree felony.

The maximum penalties for a second-degree include the following:

  • Up to 15 years in prison;
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000; and
  • A minimum 1-year driver’s license suspension

Tragedy occurring from the driver fleeing to elude or attempt to elude will mean life-long consequences. If your crime resulted in another person’s serious injury or death, then you will face a first-degree felony. Additionally, you will have an automatic minimum imprisonment term of three years upon conviction.

The penalties for a first-degree felony include the following:

  • Up to 30 years in prison;
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000; and
  • A minimum 1-year driver’s license suspension

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Additional Resources

Florida Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases – Visit the official website for Florida’s Jury Instructions, which are a set of procedures the jury must follow when deliberating the verdict of a case. Reading these may give you some insight in what the jury is looking for to convict a person and could help you structure a strong defense.

Florida Laws for Flee to Elude – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about their flee to elude and other obstruction of justice laws. Access the site to read the elements of the crime, penalties and other relevant important information.


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Flee to Elude Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with fleeing to elude, it’s imperative you seek a criminal defense to fight for your rights. Our suggestion is you get in contact with the skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We have been practicing for years and can use our resources and extensive practice to fight for your case.

Call us at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation. With our help, you can finally feel at ease knowing your defense is being handled. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Wellington.


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  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
  • National College for DUI Defense
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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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