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Fleeing or eluding a police officer

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:35 pm
Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer is a crime in all states. As the operator of a vehicle, you're obliged to pull your vehicle to the side of the road at the first safe opportunity if requested by a police officer, or signaled to do so by an officer in a police vehicle. In most states, failure to do so can be charged as a felony and can result in imprisonment of up to five years. In most states, a court can also revoke your driver's license. The crime of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer also applies if you pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and then drive off without permission from the police officer. It's a good idea always to ask the police officer if you're free to go. If the police have probable cause to suspect you of a crime, they're empowered to use all reasonable force to detain you. If you use force or violence to prevent the police from detaining you, or to prevent the police from conducting a legal search, you could be found guilty of the separate crime of resisting arrest, which may be charged as a felony. If the police officer suspects you of an alcohol- or a drug-related offense, he or she may refuse to allow you to drive your vehicle. In some states, the police are empowered to suspend your driver's license on the spot if you're suspected of being unable to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Whether you're in a vehicle or not, fleeing or attempting to elude the police is a serious offense with possible serious consequences. If you've been accused of this crime, you should consider contacting an attorney.
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