Disregarding police means failing to a police officer’s signal—either verbal or visual—to stop or move a vehicle. Charges for disregarding police include various fines and jail time.
Failure to stop for police in Georgia is a serious issue. According to Georgia Code §40-6-395, it is illegal for any driver to “willfully fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop,” try to elude or flee from a police officer or vehicle that is giving a signal for the driver to stop.
It does not matter whether the signal is visual, such as the officer flashing their lights, or verbal. The driver must stop their vehicle if an officer signals them to do so. The officer must also be clearly marked by wearing their uniform with the badge of office and driving an official police vehicle.
Penalties for Disregarding Police in Georgia
The fines and penalties for disregarding police vary by location. In Georgia, fleeing or attempting to elude police officers is a high and aggravated misdemeanor, which falls into the most serious class of misdemeanor crimes.
The penalties for someone convicted of disregarding police (specifically, fleeing or attempting to elude police) are as follows:
- First conviction: between $500 and $5,000 in fines and imprisonment for between 10 days and 12 months
- Second conviction (within ten years from the date of previous arrests): between $1,000 and $5,000 in fines and imprisonment for between 30 days and 12 months
- Third conviction (within ten years from the date of previous arrests): between $2,500 and $5,000 in fines and imprisonment for between 90 days and 12 months
When Eluding Becomes a Felony
There are certain situations where disregarding police can become a felony crime in Georgia—even on the first offense.
A driver may be charged with a felony is they:
- Were driving at least 20 MPH above the posted speed limit
- Put the general public at risk while fleeing, such as in traffic
- Crash into another driver’s vehicle or hit a pedestrian with their vehicle
- Leave the state of Georgia during the flee
A felony, in this case, would come with fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment between one and five years.
Getting Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer
When a driver is disregarding police, they can easily cause injury to others on the road. Police chases can become serious, even deadly, very quickly. If you were hurt in a car accident where the driver was fleeing or eluding officers, it’s time to speak with an experienced attorney. These types of accidents can be very serious, painful, and expensive.
A lawyer who specializes in personal injury law can help you seek the compensation you deserve after being struck by a negligent and reckless driver. At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping car accident victims in this manner for over 20 years. We can help you, too—starting with a FREE consultation.
To get started with your FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.