In North Carolina, people are expected to pull over and stop when the police turn on their sirens or flashing lights. When motorists speed away from the scene instead, they can face speeding to elude arrest charges. These offenses are often committed during the commission of another offense and are additional charges that can be brought against a person.
It is a serious crime to be charged with speeding to elude arrest, and you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. The penalties for both include possible imprisonment, and you would also have a permanent criminal record that could affect many aspects of your life in the future—including your ability to obtain a job, housing, and professional license. If you are facing these charges, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you build a strong defense so that you achieve the best outcome possible given your situation.
Misdemeanor Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges
In 2010, the North Carolina legislature enacted the “Run and You’re Done” law, also known as speeding to elude arrest. This makes it a crime to speed away from police in an attempt to stop them from doing their job. To be found guilty of misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest, a person must have operated a motor vehicle on a street, highway, or public highway while fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer who is lawfully performing his duty.
This is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the punishment will be one of three sentencing ranges that are based on whether there are any prior convictions and other factors. Upon conviction, a person could be sentenced to the following:
- Up to 120 days in jail
- Fine in an amount in the judge’s discretion
- Driver’s license suspension of up to one year
Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges in North Carolina
Speeding to elude arrest can be charged as a Class H felony if certain aggravating factors are present. At least two of the following aggravating factors must be present for a person to be charged with a felony offense:
- Speeding more than 15 mph over the posted speed limit
- Gross impairment of the person’s faculties due to alcohol or drug consumption or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.14 percent or higher
- Reckless driving as defined under North Carolina law
- Driving any amount over the posted speed limit in a school or construction zone
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Negligent driving that resulted in an accident causing personal injury or property damage in excess of $1,000
- Driving when a driver’s license was revoked
- Driving with a child under 12 years old in the vehicle
Upon conviction, a person would be sentenced under North Carolina’s structured sentencing system. The class of the felony, the person’s prior convictions, and aggravating and mitigating factors would be considered by the judge when deciding the actual sentence. In general, a person could face these punishments:
- Up to 39 months in prison
- Fine at the discretion of the court
- Driver’s license suspension for up to two years with two aggravating factors or up to three years with three or more aggravating factors
When Can You Be Charged With Aggravated Misdemeanor or Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges?
A person can face aggravated misdemeanor or felony speeding to elude arrest charges if his speeding to elude arrest was the proximate cause of a person’s death. Aggravated misdemeanor charges are a Class H felony. Aggravated felony speeding to elude arrest is a Class F felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 88 months, a fine to be set by the judge, and driver’s license suspension.
Let Us Help You Fight the Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges That You Face
Are you facing misdemeanor or felony speeding to elude arrest charges? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you build a strong defense to the charges that you face—even if you believe that you are guilty. This could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a much less serious offense. Start an online chat to schedule your free initial consultation to learn what you can expect in your criminal proceedings and how we can assist you.