Vehicular Eluding In Colorado
Vehicular Eluding, C.R.S. 18-9-116.5 – Felony
Vehicular eluding is a serious crime whether committed in Denver or Douglas County, or any other county in Colorado. It is just as serious if you are arrested within any city in Colorado, such as Aurora, Westminster or Centennial. C.R.S. 18-9-116.5 defines vehicular eluding as “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.” The statute makes no distinction between running away from a peace officer in the city of Littleton, Larimer County, Weld County or a Colorado state highway patrol officer.
Eluding Or Attempting To Elude A Police Officer, C.R.S. 42-4-1413 – Misdemeanor
Closely related to vehicular eluding is the crime of eluding or attempting to elude a police officer in Jefferson or El Paso County. While the first of these crimes is a felony, the second is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense – much less serious. From our analysis, the main difference between the two is the felony requires a person to operate their vehicle in a reckless manner during the eluding, while the misdemeanor does not.
Increased Fines For Felony Eluding
Our Colorado legislators view vehicular eluding as a very serious threat to public welfare. It is so serious that this crime is classified as a felony, and the minimum fines imposed for each of the classes is doubled. In other words, if someone is found guilty of a Class 5 felony, the minimum fine is usually $1,000. However, if someone is found guilty of a Class 5 felony for vehicular eluding, the minimum fine is $2,000. Ordinarily the minimum fine for a Class 4 felony carries a $2,000 fine and a Class 3 felony a $3,000 fine. Class 4 and Class 3 vehicular eluding fines carry $4,000 and $6,000 minimum fines, respectively.
Eluding Can Be A Class 3, 4 or 5 Felony; It Can Be A Misdemeanor Traffic Offense
What makes the difference in whether a person is charged with a Class 5 felony or the more serious Class 4 or Class 3 felonies depends on whether or not an injury is sustained during the commission of the crime. If another person sustains bodily injury during the crime, the defendant will be charged with a Class 4 felony. If a death results from vehicular eluding, it will result in a Class 3 felony being charged. With injury, you can also expect to be charged with vehicular assault, C.R.S. 18-3-205, or vehicular homicide, C.R.S. 18-3-106.
If the crime does not involve any allegation of driving in a reckless manner, it will be charged as eluding a police officer, a misdemeanor traffic offense under 42-4-1413. This is less serious than a normal criminal misdemeanor, with reduced possible penalties. With very little factual differences, a person can drop from a felony to a relatively minor traffic offense. Charges of reckless driving, C.R.S. 42-4-1401, will often accompany an eluding charge, regardless of whether there is any injury.
There are defenses for the crime of felony vehicular eluding and misdemeanor eluding or attempting to elude a police officer, and the attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC, have nearly 40 years of experience defending people who have been charged with these crimes. If you or someone you care about has been charged with Eluding in Arapahoe or Adams County, it is very important to seek the advice of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. We understand that the fear of being pursued by a police impersonator or a family emergency may result in being unduly charged with this serious crime. If you have been arrested for vehicular eluding, do not resist arrest, but be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.