Speeding to Elude Arrest in North Carolina

Under North Carolina law, drivers are expected to pull over to the side of the road when police officers activate the lights on their vehicles. When drivers try to evade law enforcement through high-speed chases puts innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and everyone else on the road at enormous risk.

Have you been arrested for speeding to elude arrest in Charlotte, North Carolina? If so, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a skilled attorney. You owe it to yourself and your future to explore possible legal defenses that could result in the criminal charges against you being reduced or dismissed. Generally, alleged offenders will face additional criminal charges and speeding to elude arrest.

However, not all these cases involve an intentional, knowing attempt to break the law. A driver may have been unable to stop because of an emergency situation. Others may not have recognized or realized that there was a police vehicle behind them with an officer that wanted them to pull over.

Misdemeanor Speeding to Elude Arrest in North Carolina

North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.5 makes it a crime for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a street, highway, or public vehicular area while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer who is in the lawful performance of their duties. One of the penalties for being convicted of misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest is a driver’s license suspension for one year.

A defendant could also be sentenced to active, intermediate, or community punishment. As a result, the possible sentencing ranges for defendants charged with this crime will be determined by a combination of the degree of the crime for which they have been convicted. The court will also consider any prior convictions when making sentencing decisions. When a defendant is convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor for speeding to elude arrest, there are three possible sentencing ranges:

  • No prior convictions (prior conviction level I): community punishment for at least one to 45 days
  • One to Four Prior Convictions (Prior Conviction Level II) — Community, intermediate, or active punishment of at least one up to 45 days; or
  • Five or More Prior Convictions (Prior Conviction Level III) — Community, intermediate, or active punishment of at least one up to 120 days.

Community punishment may involve house arrest with electric monitoring, community service, confinement in a local confinement facility, or other punishments.

Federal Speeding to Elude Arrest in Charlotte

When prosecutors can prove that two or more aggravating factors listed under North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.5(b) are present when an offender flees, prosecutors can bring more serious Class H felony charges against the defendant. Aggravating factors include the following;

  • Speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the legal speed limit
  • Reckless driving
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Negligent driving leading to an accident causing property damage in excess of $1,000 or personal injury
  • Gross impairment of the alleged offender’s faculties while driving due to consumption of an impairing substance or a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 or more within a relevant time after the driving
  • Driving with a child under 12 years of age in the vehicle
  • Driving when the alleged offender’s driver’s license is revoked
  • Driving in excess of the posted speed limit during the days and hours when the posted limit is in effect, on school property, in an area designated as a school zone, or in a highway work zone

Even if there are fewer than two aggravating factors when an alleged offender speeds to elude arrest, but the alleged offender is the proximate cause of another person’s death, prosecutors can bring Class H felony charges. Depending on the defendant’s criminal record and other aggravating and mitigating factors, a convicted defendant may be sentenced to a prison sentence between six months and 25 months.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

The Charlotte criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC aggressively defend clients throughout the Charlotte area in a wide range of criminal matters. Suppose local or state police tried to pull you over, and you allegedly fled the police vehicle or attempted to elude a law enforcement officer.

In that case, seeking legal counsel is in your best interest. Many people charged with this crime do not intend to break the law. We will try to prove your innocence. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation.