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Fleeing and Eluding

When a motorist in Florida is ordered to stop his or her vehicle by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, it is illegal for him or her to willfully refuse or fail to stop the vehicle. Alleged offenders in such cases may be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, more commonly referred to as fleeing and eluding.

Fleeing and eluding is a felony offense in Florida, and prosecutors are well aware that judges do not take kindly to individuals accused of disregarding the orders of police officers. It is important to understand that certain aggravating factors in these types of cases can lead to enhanced charges which carry even more serious penalties for alleged offenders.

Lawyer for Fleeing and Eluding Arrests in Gainesville, FL

If you were arrested in north central Florida for allegedly fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation.

Galigani Law Firm defends clients accused of criminal traffic violations in Levy County, Gilchrist County, Alachua County, Marion County, and several other nearby areas in and around Gainesville.

Gainesville criminal defense attorney Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (352) 375-0812 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


Alachua County Fleeing and Eluding Information Center


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Gainesville Fleeing and Eluding Penalties

Under Florida Statute § 316.1935, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if

  • Having knowledge that he or she has been ordered to stop such vehicle by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, the operator of any vehicle willfully refuses or fails to stop the vehicle in compliance with such order or, having stopped in knowing compliance with such order, willfully flees in an attempt to elude the officer; or
  • Willfully flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle, with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle, with siren and lights activated.

Florida Statute § 316.1935(3) also establishes enhanced charges for alleged offenders accused of willfully fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in an authorized law enforcement patrol vehicle, with agency insignia and other jurisdictional markings prominently displayed on the vehicle, with siren and lights activated, who during the course of the alleged fleeing or attempted eluding do either of the following:

  • If an alleged offender, while fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, drives at high speed, or in any manner which demonstrates a wanton disregard for property or for the safety of others, then he or she will be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If an alleged offender drives at high speed, or in any manner which demonstrates a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, and causes serious bodily injury or death to another person, including any law enforcement officer involved in pursuing or otherwise attempting to effect a stop of the person’s vehicle, the alleged offense is a first-degree felony punishable by a minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

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Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Penalties in Alachua County

People can also be charged with aggravated fleeing or eluding if, in the course of unlawfully leaving or attempting to leave the scene of a crash, having knowledge of an order to stop by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, willfully refuses or fails to stop in compliance with such an order, or having stopped in knowing compliance with such order, willfully flees in an attempt to elude such officer and, as a result of such fleeing or eluding, does either of the following:

  • Causes injury to another person or cause damage to any property belonging to another person, the alleged crime is the second-degree felony offense of aggravated fleeing or eluding; or
  • Causes serious bodily injury or death to another person, including any law enforcement officer involved in pursuing or otherwise attempting to effect a stop of the person’s vehicle, the alleged crime is the first-degree felony offense of aggravated fleeing or eluding with serious bodily injury or death.

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Florida Fleeing and Eluding Resources

Florida Statute § 316.1935 | Fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer; aggravated fleeing or eluding — View the full text of the state law for fleeing and eluding offenses. In addition to aggravating factors, you can also learn more about when driver's licenses can be revoked. You can also find information about when motor vehicles can be seized by law enforcement agencies.

Jackson v. State, 818 So. 2d 539, 541 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) — Terrance Jackson was convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to sell, possessing more than 20 grams of cannabis, and felony fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer. The Second District Court of Appeal concluded that the State's only evidence of intent to sell consisted of the quantity and packaging of the cocaine found in his possession—a quantity "not so large as to imply an intent to sell without other evidence." Additionally, the Court ruled that in the absence of proof that the patrol car was prominently marked, the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for felony fleeing. The Court reversed all of Jackson's convictions and remanded for a new trial necessitated by prejudicial error during the prosecutor's opening statement.


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Galigani Law Firm | Gainesville Fleeing and Eluding Defense Attorney

Were you arrested for allegedly fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer anywhere in north central Florida? Remaining silent, until you retain legal counsel, when faced with serious criminal charges can be the difference between conviction and having your charges dropped. For more information about what an experienced attorney can do for you, contact Galigani Law Firm as soon as possible.

Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Gainesville who represents residents and visitors throughout the greater Gainesville area, including communities in Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County, and Baker County.

Call (352) 375-0812 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.



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