Unlawful Flight from Police in Arizona?
Consuming alcohol and committing a traffic accident is going to be pretty scary. This is why some people act irrationally and make stupid mistakes. Instead of cooperating with the police, they may flee. Unlawful flight from police in Arizona is a major offense that can have more serious consequences than being charged with DUI.
Arizona Statutes and Regulations
Unlawful flight is described and defined in detail in A.R.S. 28-622.01. Unlawful flight is a criminal offense that can result in felony charges. Unlawful flight from police in Arizona is defined as an attempt to either evade or get away from a marked police vehicle.
Whenever a person who commits DUI flees the scene and eventually gets involved in a traffic accident, they face additional charges. The situation becomes more serious when the accident leaves someone injured or causes death.
Flight from the police is a Class 5 felony in Arizona. This means that it is punishable by nine months to two years in prison for first time offenders. Aggravated felonies come with a 2.5-year prison sentence. There will also be a fine of up to 150,000 dollars in sanctions and additional payments.
There are a few important details that determine what classifies as unlawful flight from the police in Arizona. For a start, a police officer should have signaled for the vehicle to stop and the driver knowingly refused to comply. A driver that doesn’t stop immediately but is looking for a safe place to pull over is not committing flight from the police.
Many people (for example the ones that know they’re committing DUI) may panic whenever a police stop is imminent. In their panic, they will refrain from pulling over. Most individuals don’t understand the consequences of such a decision.
If you commit unlawful flight from police in Arizona, you will need to get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
Based on the circumstances, a lawyer will choose the line of defense bound to deliver the best possible results. One of the common defense strategies is that the driver was either disoriented or distracted, which prevented them from seeing the lights of the police car. Remember that for a person to be charged with a flight felony, they will have to consciously attempt evading or getting away from the police officers.
Mistake of fact defense scenarios are also plausible. In that instance, the attorney will try to prove that the defendant believed a police vehicle was chasing somebody else on the road. The attorney could also attempt to highlight the fact that the defendant was attempting to find a safe place to pull over, thus they did not respond immediately.
Keep in mind that flight from the police is prosecuted aggressively in Arizona. Such behavior poses serious threat to everyone on the road, which is why the defense approach has to be impeccable. For best results, an attorney will have to acquaint themselves with all of the details and they’ll also have to interview a sufficient number of witnesses.
Hit and Run Regulations
A person that commits hit and run after the consumption of alcohol faces much more serious consequences than an individual that attempts to evade a police stop.
Hit and run provisions are outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes 28-664.
Whether there are victims resulting from a traffic accident, drivers are required to stop and wait for police officers to arrive. Even if solely a car is hit (and there are no passengers), leaving the scene will result in Class 3 misdemeanor charges.
Whenever hit and run causes physical injury, harm or death, the driver potentially faces Class 2 felony charges. Depending on the severity of the offense, the responsible driver could be sentenced to anywhere between five and 10 years in prison.