Attempting to Elude an Officer in Maryland
Though some people may not understand to what extent they are breaking the law when committing this offense, the traffic charge of fleeing/and or attempting to elude an officer in Maryland (AEO) occurs often. In order to keep your record clear of points on your license, an experienced traffic lawyer may be able to contest this charge. It is crucial to contact a Maryland traffic attorney as soon as possible to try and avoid penalties.
Elements of AEO
The charge of fleeing and/or eluding a police officer is defined as a person willfully failing to stop after an officer told the person to do so. The officer, who must be in uniform, must display their badge or have something to notify a person that they are an officer.
Attempting to elude an officer in Maryland is a regular occurrence. People generally do not want to stop and believe if they can avoid an officer, they can avoid a ticket. If a person with a suspended license is speeding and they are trying to avoid another ticket, they may decide to not pull over for the officer. However, it is very rare for an officer to stop once they begin pursuit.
If a person is speeding at an alarming rate on the highway, and the officer turns on their sirens, makes an attempt to pull the person over and the person fails to stop, then this is considered attempting to elude an officer in Maryland.
If the officer does not initiate by turning on their lights and is just clocking the person’s speed, then they are not making an attempt. If someone deliberately exits the highway after seeing the officer clock their speed, then it is not necessarily attempting to elude an officer in Maryland.
Driving behavior can be misinterpreted as an attempt to elude an officer in Maryland if a driver is unable to stop for a long period of time. If a driver is on a single lane road and unable to stop at a place that is safe, it may be viewed as an attempt to elude the officer. If there is physically nowhere for the individual to pull their car over safely, it can be a problem. Those types of situations where it is not safe for the person to stop their car could be misconstrued trying to elude.
If a person is in a location where there is no possibility to get off the road, or if the person is driving somewhere where he or she is in heavy traffic and stopping immediately may cause an accident, then stopping for the officer may not be possible.
Prosecution in Maryland
Attempting to elude an officer in Maryland would be a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a fine, and 12 points on your driving record.
Benefits of Contacting a Lawyer
In reviewing evidence, an attorney tries to see what exactly happened, and works with the prosecutor to discuss the possibility of negotiating this down and discussing any evidence, cross-examining, and looking at the dash cam, and/or any kind of evidence that could be used to prove or disprove what actually happened and hopefully get the best result.
Because this charge is so common, there are many defenses to this charge.
For example, an officer may ask for you to pull over and you continue driving to an area that you reasonably believe is necessary for the safety of yourself and other drivers. Your reasonable belief in this instance would act as a defense to the necessary element of willfully attempting to elude an officer in Maryland. A dedicated lawyer may be able to help contest the charge.