You have probably watched high-speed car chase scenes in movies – and it can be fun. However, outrunning police only happens in movies. In real life, fleeing or “eluding the police” as it is known in Oklahoma is a serious offense with severe consequences.
Besides the original charge for which the police came after you, eluding law enforcement can also attract additional charges. These include speeding, failure to obey traffic laws and reckless driving. And if someone is hurt or killed as a result of your actions, you may face personal injury or manslaughter charges as well.
What Oklahoma law says about eluding the police
Per Oklahoma law, any willful attempt to speed off, turn off your vehicle’s lights or any other way to avoid law enforcement after receiving both audible and visible signals to stop is considered eluding police.
If you are convicted of eluding the police in Oklahoma, you might be sentenced to up to one year in jail. Additionally, you may be fined between $100 and $2,000. And for subsequent convictions, you will serve a one-year jail time or pay between $500 and $5,000 fine, or both.
So what do you do if you are charged with eluding police?
If you have been charged with eluding the police, but you feel your actions were justified, you need to figure out how to defend yourself. Here are three defense options you can raise when charged with eluding law enforcement:
- Lack of intent – to be convicted, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally tried to flee the police. For instance, the police must have had reasonable suspicion that you were drunk driving hence the stop for DUI investigation.
- You were responding to an emergency – if you had a medical situation and were rushing to the hospital, you may be able to cite this during your defense.
If the police have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, they will stop you for an investigation. Knowing your legal rights and obligations during the stop can help you avoid costly mistakes that can worsen your situation.