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Fleeing & Eluding: Fort Myers Criminal Attorney

Proving the Intent Behind Police Evasion

Looking for an attorney for a fleeing and eluding case in Fort Myers? Given the degree of effort that is required to effectively evade a law enforcement officer's attempt to arrest or detain a suspect, the act of doing so is relatively uncommon. Although there are rare instances of heated police chases, far more often the individuals who are accused of evading an arrest are those who were genuinely unaware of the attempts being made to detain them.

When a police car's lights go on, no one can be sure who the law enforcement officer has chosen to target. As such, some of the actions by a suspect at the time of arrest could seem like resistance, even though the true nature of the evasion stems from nothing more than a misunderstanding. Persons who have been accused of evading arrest for one of these reasons should immediately retain the professional services of a Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer at our office.

In order for any defendant to be convicted for his or her attempts at evading arrest, it must first be proven that the deliberate intent to do so existed. Mistakenly avoiding an officer's attempts to detain or arrest an individual is not considered substantial reason to convict on charges of arrest evasion. Proving this, however, can be a challenging task and should not be undertaken by anyone other than a proven defense attorney whose skills have been effective in past cases.

Your Right to Walk Away

When law enforcement officers interact with any member of the public, the un-badged individual has the right to walk away from the situation. Although there are exceptions to this caveat, the general theory behind this right allows for consensual encounters with an officer to be left, whether or not doing so was suggested by the attending officer.

An individual's legal right to walk away from their encounter with a law enforcement officer can be used in defense of a defendant who has since been accused of evading arrest. Exercising one's legal rights cannot be adequately challenged when there is no supporting evidence that would suggest mal-intent behind the action.

Was the attempt at arrest made lawfully?

Accusations of police evasion are only taken as credible if it can be unequivocally proven that the attempt at arrest (or detention) was lawful in nature. When a person is charged with evading arrest and nothing else, it is a red flag. A solo criminal charge for police evasion is immediate reason to doubt the intent behind the charges that were made in the first place. This is because a supplemental charge should exist which denotes the original intent behind an officer's attempt to make an arrest. If no other criminal charges are cited, the lawful intent of the law enforcement officer's attempt at arrest should be questioned, if not challenged entirely.

Building a Defense for Your Case

You don't want to get stuck with the penalties that are sentenced to defendants who are ultimately convicted of evading an arrest. Therefore, you need to employ the services of an experienced and effective defense attorney.

With the right attorney on your side, the following elements of your case can be challenged and defended in court:

  • Willfulness: If it can be proven that your evasion was not a willful action, but rather one of misunderstanding or inattention, you cannot be held legally responsible for evading arrest. This type of defense can also be used if you were forcefully prevented from responding to a law enforcement officer despite your desire to do otherwise.
  • Intention: A person's intent can also be a good reason for police evasion accusations to be thrown out. If you never intended to evade the attempts at arrest that were made by a law enforcement officer, then you cannot be held legally responsible for doing so. This type of defense can be used on behalf of persons whose level of intoxication impaired their ability to make any rational, intentional decision.
  • Deficient Evidence: Specific elements must be proven in order for an allegation of arrest evasion to be valid. These elements must be proven with evidential support; when not enough support exists, you cannot be held legally responsible for evading arrest. For example, if the arresting officer was not in a distinguishing uniform or a marked car, the case needs to be thrown out.

Developing a strategy that can be used to defend you against criminal allegations of this nature requires the professional tactics of a skilled defense attorney. Therefore, we encourage you to speak with a lawyer at our office as soon as possible. Upon discussing the details of your case, a thorough review of the incident leading up to your charges can be made. Once all of the elements involved in the accusation have been reviewed, a defense can be built on your behalf.

If you have been accused of fleeing and eluding, contact a Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible. We offer a free case evaluation, so call today at (239) 204-5657​.

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