|California Evading Law & Defense Vehicle Code 2800
Information on the crime of evading is found at California Vehicle Code Section 2800. This article is dedicated to a brief discussion of the different types of evading crimes, including the penalties and common defenses associated with evading crimes.
There are several variations of evading crimes:
- VC 2800.1(a) is charged when the defendant uses his or her vehicle in an attempt to avoid police capture
- VC 2800.2(a) is charged when the defenant uses his or her vehicle in an attempt to escape police capture and does so recklessly
- VC 2800.3(a) is charged when the defendant uses his or her vehicle in an attempt to avoid police capture and causes serious bodily injury in the attempt
- VC 2800.4(b) is charged when the defendant uses his or her vehicle in an attempt to avoid police capture and causes death in the attempt
To prove evading, the prosecutor must prove all of the following:
- A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing the defendant
- The defendant driver, willfully fled from, or tried to elude, the oficer, intending to evade the officer
- At the time of the evasion, the officer had at least one red light visible from the front of the peace officer's vehicle and the defendant should reasonably have seen the red light; and
- The pursuing officer had his or her siren on while driving in a distinctively marked police vehicle.
Sentence & Punishment for VC 2800 crimes:
VC 2800.1(a), is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of VC 2800.1(a) the defendant could face up to a year in jail if found guilty of VC 2800.1(a).
VC 2800.2(a) is classified as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history. When VC 2800.2(a) is charged as a misdemeanor the defendant may face up to 1 year in the county jail. When VC 2800.2(a) is charged as a felony the defendant may face up to 3 years in state prison.
VC 2800.3(a) is classified as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the seriousness of the injuries, the circumstances of the alleged evasion, and the defendant's criminal history. When VC 2800.3 is charged as a misdemeanor the defendant may face up to 1 year in the county jail. When VC 2800.3 is charged as a felony the defendant may face up to 7 years in state prison.
VC 2800.3(b) is classified as a felony. If found guilty of VC 2800.3(b) the defendant may face up to 10 years in state prison.
In some cases it may be possible to have an evading case dismissed or reduced to a less severe crime. Whether or not a dismissal or reduction of a VC 2800 charge is possible depends entirely on the facts of the case, the strength of any applicable defense, and the defendant's criminal history.
Probation without a jail or prison sentence may be available in some circumstances. The crime of VC 2800.3(a) is considered a strike offense under California's Three Strikes Sentencing law if the crime is charged as a felony.
Collateral Penalties for Evading Crimes
In addition to any jail or prison sentence, criminal convictions for evading can lead to other severe consequences, including: Immigration issues (non-U.S. citizens), fines, lawsuits, employment loss, insurance rate increase (vehicle), suspension or revocation of driving license, civil lawsuits, and more.
Defense to VC 2800 crimes
Defenses unique to evading crimes include: evading a police cruiser that is not clearly marked as a law enforcement vehicle; no siren wailing at a minumum of 120 decibals within a short distance of defendant's vehicle; lack of intent to evade; lack of serious injury (For VC 2800.3(a) crimes; lack of causation for death (For VC 2800.3(b) crimes.
Other defenense might apply to an evading charge include: statute of limitations, Due Process violation, coerced confessions, mistake of fact, necessity or emergency, and more.
If you have been charged with the crime of evading, or VC 2800, contact our experienced and successful criminal defense attorneys today to learn your rights and options for defense.
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Crimes related to evading VC 2800 include:
- Evade an officer / driving recklessly VC 2800.2(a)
- Intention to evade peace officer VC 2800.1(a)
- Flight from police causing serious injury VC 2800.3(a)
- Fleeing in opposite direction of traffic VC 2800.4
- Reckless driving VC 23103
- Engage in speed contest VC 23109