Vehicular Eluding Defense Attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado

In Colorado, the crime of vehicular eluding, can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how the person eluding police operates their vehicle. If the fleeing party drives recklessly, the charge can be a felony. If the person merely steps on the gas and tries to stay ahead of police without causing serious danger, or injury, the charge can be a misdemeanor. 

If you are facing a vehicular eluding charge in or around Fort Collins, Colorado, contact The Leier Law Office LLC. Our criminal defense attorney is a former prosecutor who knows how to work both sides of the aisle and can anticipate moves by prosecutors and challenge them in your defense.   

Our legal staff prides itself on being available 24/7, so you will never feel you’re being overlooked or shortchanged. We believe in hard work and dedication. The Leier Law Office LLC serves clients not only in and around Fort Collins but also in Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, and Evans. 

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Vehicular Eluding Charges in Colorado

As mentioned briefly above, vehicular eluding – trying to escape from officers who have motioned for you to pull over or turned on their red lights to indicate they need your compliance – can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. The major difference between the two is that a felony charge of vehicular eluding involves reckless driving while trying to elude police.

Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) Section 42-4-1413 addresses misdemeanor eluding or fleeing the police. The charge can result after an officer, who has “reasonable grounds” to believe a violation has occurred, signals through a “red light or siren” to pull over, but the person “willfully increases his or her speed or extinguishes his or her lights in an attempt to elude such police officer, or willfully attempts in any other manner to elude the police officer….” 

CRS Section 18-9-116.5 describes the felony charge of vehicular eluding in this way: “Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle, knowingly eludes or attempts to elude a peace officer also operating a motor vehicle, and who knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being pursued by said peace officer, and who operates his or her vehicle in a reckless manner, commits vehicular eluding.”

Penalties for Vehicular Eluding 

A misdemeanor vehicular eluding or fleeing police conviction or guilty plea can result in up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine between $150 and $300. A reckless driving vehicular eluding charge is a Class 5 felony if there are no injuries resulting from the evasive driving. The punishment can result in prison time of one to three years and/or a fine of $2,000 to $100,000. 

If there are resulting injuries, it rises to a Class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years in prison and/or a fine of $4,000 to $500,000. If someone dies because of your reckless evasive driving, the charge will rise to a Class 3 felony, with possible prison time of 4 to 12 years and/or a fine of $6,000 to $750,000. 

Possible Defenses 

Any defense you raise may boil down to your word against the police officers. The most common defense for Colorado vehicular eluding is the defense of “lack of knowledge.” You can claim that you had the music up so loud that you couldn’t hear the siren or that you believed the police officer was tailing someone else. Your attorney can also argue that: 

  • The officer had no reasonable basis, or probable cause, for signaling you to pull over  

  • The police officer did not clearly indicate that you should pull over  

  • You were not willfully evading the police officer  

  • You did not realize that the police officer was pursuing you (i.e., was chasing someone else) 

Vehicular Eluding Defense Attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado

A strong defense attorney will also examine whether your rights were violated in the arrest and interrogation process. As soon as you are brought in for questioning and for a potential criminal charge, contact us immediately, so we can represent you during questioning to protect your rights. If you’re facing a vehicular evading or fleeing the police charge in Fort Collins or neighboring communities, reach out to us at The Leier Law Office LLC.