If you caused serious bodily injury or death to another person while evading (or attempting to evade) a police officer, you violated Vehicle Code §2800.3.
If your actions cause serious bodily injury to another person and you are convicted of the offense, you will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
If your actions cause death to another person and you are convicted of the offense, you will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 4, 6, or 10 years.
The Vehicle Code §2800.3 defines the offense as “…willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 [that] proximately causes serious bodily injury to any person…”1
To prove that you are guilty of this offense, the prosecutor has to prove the following facts or elements3
- A peace officer in a motor vehicle was pursuing the defendant, who was also driving a vehicle4;
- The defendant intended to evade the peace officer;
- While driving, the defendant “willfully” ﬂed from, or tried to elude, the pursuing peace officer5;
- The defendant’s attempt to ﬂee from, or elude, the pursuing peace officer caused6 the death of or serious bodily injury to someone7
and all of the following were true:
- There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the peace officer’s vehicle;
- The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp;
- The peace officer’s vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary;
- The peace officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked8; AND
- The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform9
However, keep in mind that even if you are not found guilty of this offense due to lack of intent to evade, if you were driving while you were intoxicated, you may still be charged with “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) under Vehicle Code 23152 VC.
This offense can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case. If you caused death to another person while evading a police officer, the offense will always be charged as a felony. However, if caused serious bodily injury, it may be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor.
|Penalties||Serious Bodily Injury||Death|
|Fine||$2,000-$10,000 in fines||$2,000 – $10,000|
|Probation||Misdemeanor = Summary Probation: Felony = Formal Probation||Formal Probation|
|Jail or Prison||Misdemeanor = Up to 1 year in Jail: Felony = 3,5 or 7 years in state prison||4, 6, or 10 years in prison|
Your Right to Operate Commercial Vehicles:
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code §15300, a driver of a commercial vehicle, such as taxi, bus, or big rig, who commits a violation involving a commercial motor vehicle, including a felony, will not be allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year if the driver is convicted of a first violation.
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code §15302, a driver of a commercial vehicle who is convicted of more than one violation involving a commercial motor vehicle, including a felony, will not be allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of his or her life.
Violation Involving Controlled Substances
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code §15304, “[a] driver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of his or her life if he/she uses a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance…” even if it is a first time offense.
Your Right to Own/Possess/Acquire/Receive Firearms
A conviction of Evading an Officer Causing Injury or Death charged as a felony, will result in you being prohibited to “…own, possess, acquire, or receive…” firearms for life pursuant to Penal Code §29800 – that sets out California’s law concerning “felons with a firearm
Pursuant to the Penal Code section 148, a defendant who resists, obstructs, or delays a law enforcement officer in the performance of his/her duty, may be charged with the offense of Resisting Arrest under Penal Code §148
If convicted of this offense, a defendant can face being charged a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), and/or imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year.
Pursuant to Penal Code 192(c), if you were driving while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could also be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter. Similarly, Penal Code section 191.5 punishes a defendant who acts negligently, and does not require that the defendant be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Pursuant to Vehicle Code § 10851(a), any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle, whether with or without intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is a party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing.
If convicted of this offense, a defendant, will be guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction will be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
If you have been arrested and would like to learn more about how attorneys charge.
If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.
If you would like to discuss a pending case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.
- Vehicle. Code, § 2800.3. (a) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes serious bodily injury to any person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. (b) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes death to a person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 4, 6, or 10 years. (c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the imposition of a greater sentence pursuant to Section 190 of the Penal Code or any other provisions of law applicable to punishment for an unlawful death.(d) For the purposes of this section, “serious bodily injury” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 243 of the Penal Code. [↩]
- People v. Jones (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 663, 668–669 [98 Cal.Rptr.2d 724]; People v. Sanchez (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 970, 974 [103 Cal.Rptr.2d 809]. [↩]
- Elements. Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.3(a), (b). [↩]
- A “peace officer” is anyone who is engaged in the duty of law enforcement, including but not limited to the following persons: CHP officer (California Highway Patrol), police officer, sheriff, marshal or deputy marshal of a superior court or county, port warden or port police officer, any inspector or investigator employed in such capacity in the office of a district attorney. Pen. Code, § 830 et seq. [↩]
- Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage. [↩]
- An act causes death or serious bodily injury if the death or injury is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the death or injury would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, a court will consider all the circumstances established by the evidence. There may be more than one cause of death or serious bodily injury. An act causes death or injury only if it is a substantial factor in causing the death or injury. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it need not be the only factor that causes the death or injury. [↩]
- A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition. Such an injury may include loss of consciousness, concussion, bone fracture, protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ, a wound requiring extensive suturing and serious disﬁgurement. Serious Bodily Injury Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 243(f)(4); People v. Taylor (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 11, 25, fn. 4 [12 Cal.Rptr.3d 693]. [↩]
- A vehicle is distinctively marked if it has features that are reasonably noticeable to other drivers, including a red lamp, siren, and at least one other feature that makes it look different from vehicles that are not used for law enforcement purposes. Distinctively Marked Vehicle. People v. Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002, 1010–1011 [44 Cal.Rptr.3d 632, 136 P.3d 168]. [↩]
- A “distinctive uniform” means clothing adopted by a law enforcement agency to identify or distinguish members of its force. The uniform does not have to be complete or of any particular level of formality. However, a badge, without more, is not enough. Distinctive Uniform. People v. Estrella (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 716, 724 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 383]; People v. Mathews (1998) 64 Cal.App.4th 485, 491 [75 Cal.Rptr.2d 289]. [↩]