If while driving in Arizona you willfully flee or attempt to evade a law enforcement vehicle after a police officer has signaled you to pull over, you can be charged with a class 5 felony. This is known as unlawful flight from law enforcement, and is defined in A.R.S. § 28-622.01. The statute requires the police vehicle to be clearly marked in order to avoid confusion. The law enforcement vehicle should have lights flashing or a siren to indicate that you should stop.
Often an Unlawful Flight charge is coupled with other criminal charges such as DUI or Drug Possession. This is because the person is in fear of being arrested for another crime, and decides to attempt to elude law enforcement in order to avoid getting caught. This only makes matters worse because you may be facing an Unlawful Flight charge in addition to a DUI or Drug Possession charge.
Possible Penalties for Unlawful Flight
- A conviction for a class 5 felony;
- A prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years;
- Probation with the possibility of 12 months in jail.
Potential Defenses to Unlawful Flight
There are several defenses to an unlawful flight from law enforcement charge. One defense is to prove that you did not willfully flee or attempt to evade pursuing law enforcement because you were not aware of the police vehicle’s presence. This could be for a number of reasons, including poor visibility, loud music, or other distractions. A second defense is to show that you believed the police officer was attempting to pull over another vehicle. This type of situation is common in high traffic areas.
Unlawful Flight Defense Lawyer
At Lerner and Rowe Law Group, our experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys have experience handing unlawful fight charges and know how to investigate all aspects of the case in order to build a strong defense.
Contact our Arizona unlawful flight attorneys 24/7 at (602) 667-7777 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. It’s critical that you have an attorney who will provide a skilled and knowledgeable defense to this serious charge.