map Serving Conway, Myrtle Beach, and Marion, South Carolina

Schedule A Consultation 843-488-4321

Conway Criminal Law Blog

What are the Penalties for Not Pulling Over for an Officer?

If a police officer signals for you to stop your vehicle, it is in your best interest to pull over. It is unlikely that you are going to be able to outrun the police. At best, failing to stop for a law enforcement vehicle is classified as a high court misdemeanor crime.

If there are any aggravating circumstances, such as if anyone were harmed, this offense could turn into a felony, bringing significant jail time. It does not matter if you panicked or were trying to outrace the police; you will be charged no matter your intent.

If you attempted to outrun the police or resist arrest, our Conway criminal defense lawyer is ready to defend the charges brought against you.

South Carolina Code §56-5-750(A)

According to S.C. Code § 56-5-750(A), it is illegal to not stop when signaled to by a police officer. If you speed up when you see a police officer’s flashing blue light or hear their siren, this is classified as eluding a police officer.

Claiming to not hear the siren or see a flashing light is not an adequate defense when conditions are ideal, and you will still be in violation of the law.

Penalties for Failing to Stop for Police Officer

Failing to stop for a police officer can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. If it is your first offense and there was no serious bodily injury, then you may be fined $500 and serve 90 days to three years in jail. Your driver’s license will be suspended for at least thirty days.

If it is your second or any subsequent offense, you will be charged with a felony. You may be incarcerated for five years and will have your license suspended for one year.

However, certain aggravating factors may increase your culpability:

Affirmative Defenses

While there is no denying that you were evading the police, certain affirmative defenses may be available to you. An affirmative defense negates your liability, even if there is evidence showing that you broke the law.

Affirmative defense for failing to stop for law enforcement may include:

Medical Emergency

If your child’s appendix bursts and you are rushing to get them to the hospital, this is a mitigating factor. It reduces or negates your criminal liability, so you may be able to get the charges against you dropped or, at the very least, reduced.

No Place to Pull Over

If you are traveling on a narrow road or it is dark, you may choose to pull over once you reach a safer stretch of road. The “trier of fact,” a judge or jury, will decide if this defense makes sense in your given situation.

Escaping Danger

If you have reason to believe that someone is following you, you may decide to pull over in a more lit area. Attempting to get away from someone who is an endangerment is a valid reason to speed and not stop when a police officer signals for you to do so.

There is No Time to Waste! Our Conway Criminal Defense Lawyer is Ready to Help

If you are convicted of evading the police, you will end up with a criminal record. However, if there was a reason you did not stop your vehicle in a timely manner, you would want your story to be heard. If you need a legal advocate, Attorney Brad C. Richardson is ready to work on your behalf. Contact us today online or by phone to schedule your consultation.