Being pursued by law enforcement can be a frightening experience. It is not uncommon for most to people panic when they notice that the police are coming after them. This explains why many opt to take off to avoid an imminent arrest.
However, evading the police is a crime in Washington. And depending on the circumstances of your case, a conviction can come with serious consequences.
Understanding the prosecution’s case against you
Just because you have been charged with evading a law enforcement officer does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. To have their way, the prosecution must prove the following:
- The arrest was lawful – the prosecution must also prove that you committed an offense that warranted an arrest
- You intended to evade the arrest – the prosecution must prove that you deliberately fled the police to avoid an arrest
Defending yourself against the charge
If you are charged with evading an arrest, it is in your best interest that you explore your defense options to avoid a conviction. Here are two defense options that you might consider:
- Lack of intent – As already mentioned, one of the elements the prosecution must prove to convict you of evading law enforcement is that you intentionally ran away from the police. However, if the prosecution cannot sufficiently prove this, then you can cite lack of intent as your defense.
- The police did not identify themselves – If the police did not wear a uniform, drove in an unmarked vehicle or failed to identify themselves, you can argue that you could not have reasonably known that they were law enforcement officers in the first place. In this case, you can also argue that you took off for safety reasons.
If you are charged with a crime, you need to defend yourself. Find out how you can protect your rights while defending yourself against a criminal charge.