Making Matters Worse with Reckless Driving and Eluding

Man Attempts to Avoid Traffic Stop – Charged with Reckless Driving and Eluding

Many times, people make a split-second decision and that decision can lead to serious consequences.  The Washington Post reported on May 27, 2016, how a simple traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase.  The chase began in the West Springfield District of Fairfax County.  Local police got a tip about a man who wanted to hurt himself.  When they located him driving in West Springfield, they attempted a traffic step and man fled.

The chase began in Fairfax County in the area of Old Keene Mill Road and Rolling Road.  The chase continued to the Fairfax County Parkway and then onto I-66 West.  The man was finally stopped in Fauquier County.  He was charged with Disregarding a Red Light, Eluding, and Reckless Driving.  Had the driver simply stopped, the incident would have likely ended with no charges and, perhaps, a simple trip to Woodburn Hospital for a medical evaluation.  More information about this chase can be found at https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/virginia-state-police-arrest-annandale-man-after-friday-morning-police-chase/2016/05/27/49bfa650-243a-11e6-9e7f-57890b612299_story.html.

Many people get scared when they see the flashing lights of a police cruiser.  Sometimes, they have something simple like an expired registration.  Other times, they may have a suspended license and do not want to get caught driving while their license is suspended.    However, it is never a good idea to evade law enforcement.  While getting caught with a suspended license is no picnic, the consequences of eluding or reckless driving can be severe.

For example, while driving on a suspended license may result in further license suspension or even some jail time, eluding law enforcement is much worse.  In fact, if the Eluding is bad enough, a person can be convicted of Felony Eluding.  As a result, they face prison time of up to 5 years and a felony conviction.  In addition, they lose the ability to challenge the traffic stop because now the officer’s have more than enough reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.  In the above case, had the individual simply pulled over, his defense attorney could have challenged the stop on a lack of reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.  So if, for example, illegal drugs were found in the car, the police would have prove he did something wrong for them to stop his vehicle.  However, once he evaded the officer’s demands to stop, that illegal stop becomes justified and the drug example becomes just another charge the individual could have avoided.