Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident or not stopping for a police officer is a serious offense in Arizona as in other states. Falling foul of Arizona’s failure to stop laws can land you in prison.
Failure to stop is an offense under A.R.S. 28-1595. A driver may be charged with the offense if he or she does not stop after receiving a “visual or audible signal or instruction” from a police officer.
When a driver fails to stop, the motorist often ends up involved in a police chase and further charges may follow such as reckless driving.
The law states a driver who refuses to show his or her license to a police officer or an unlicensed driver faces a class 2 misdemeanor.
The evidence is required identity should include the following information:
1 The full name of the driver
2. The driver’s date of birth.
3. The driver’s home address.
4. A brief physical description of the driver, including the driver’s sex, weight, height and eye, and hair color.
5. The driver’s signature.
Drivers who flee a police officer or a highway patrol officer face further problems. This offense is a class 5 felony. The statute is called the “felony flight” law. A motorist who tries to outrun or outmaneuver an officer in an officially marked law enforcement vehicle faces a felony charge.
Some people fail to grasp the consequences of these offenses. You can end up behind bars under Arizona’s failure to stop laws. Under the Arizona criminal sentencing guidelines, a class 2 misdemeanor carries up to of 4 months in jail. A driver who does not stop may also pay up to $750.00 in fines, as well as possible other sanctions.
If you are convicted of a class 5 felony for evading police you will face six months to 2 years in prison terms, fines and court fees. You will also end up with a felony on your record.
There are defenses to this crime. One of the most important ones is where a driver failed to realize he or she was being signaled to stop by a police officer. Of course, if the driver was involved in an accident with injuries or significant property damage, he or she has an obligation to stop and wait for the police.
However, drivers sometimes fail to realize they are being asked to stop by an officer. It may be late at night or they may believe the officer was trying to stop another motorist.
A driver who is accused of felony flight may be unaware he was being pursued. Or the pursuit vehicle might have been unmarked. These are legitimate defenses.
If you have fallen foul of Arizona’s failure to stop laws or been accused of felony flight, please contact our Phoenix criminal defense attorney today.