Failing to stop for a police in South Carolina is a serious crime with serious consequences.

If you attempted to lose a police officer, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges you are facing.

While every case is different, there are defenses to this charge.

In this article we’ll cover the possible penalties and discuss some of the defenses to failure to stop for police in South Carolina.

The Charge: Failure to Stop for Police

While state law describes the charge as “failure to stop a motor vehicle when signaled by law-enforcement vehicle,” people commonly refer to the crime as “failure to stop for blue lights.”

No matter what you call the criminal charge, it’s unlawful for the driver of a car to fail to stop when a law enforcement vehicle signals the driver with a siren or flashing lights.

State law describes the charge as “failure to stop a motor vehicle when signaled by law-enforcement vehicle.” It is against the law to fail to stop when a law enforcement vehicle signals a driver to pull over by siren and or flashing lights.

In many of these cases, there is enough evidence to prove failure to stop before it goes to trial. The prima facie evidence in these cases are actions, such as speeding away or avoiding law enforcement vehicles in other ways.

Furthermore, failing to see the flashing lights and not hearing the siren are not permissible defenses to this charge if a reasonable driver in the same situation would have seen or heard the signal.

The Penalties for Failing to Stop for Police

If you fail to stop for a police officer and are convicted of the charges, your punishment(s) depend on whether or not anyone was injured as a result of your actions.

If no injuries occurred, the consequences are less severe than if there were severe injuries, or even death as a result of your failure to stop for law enforcement.

No Injury Resulted:

ChargeClassificationFineJail TimeNotes
1st offenseMisdemeanor$500 or more90 days to 3 yearsFine or jail time, not both. Driver’s license suspended for at least 30 days.
2nd offense or moreFelonyNoneUp to 5 yearsDriver’s license suspended for a year.

Great Bodily Injury Resulted:

In legal terms, great bodily injury is any physical trauma that creates a considerable risk of death, or that causes permanent damage or deformities.

ClassificationFineJail TimeNotes
FelonyNoneUp to 10 yearsDriver’s license suspended for 3 years after probation, parole and jail sentence ends.

Death Resulted:

Causing someone’s death as a result of not stopping for law enforcement is the worst case scenario, and it leads to the harshest penalties for the crime.

ClassificationFineJail TimeNotes
FelonyNoneUp to 25 yearsDriver’s license suspended for 3 years after probation, parole and jail sentence ends.

Possible Defenses to Failing to Stop for Police

Although not seeing the lights and not hearing the siren are not good excuses for failing to stop for law enforcement, there are some legitimate defenses to the charge, such as:

  • There was no safe place to pull over
  • You or a passenger in the car was experiencing an emergency
  • You did not intend to evade law enforcement
  • You were forced to keep driving due to threats of violence or actual violence

You cannot escape criminal charges, but you can fight them. Talk to a lawyer today.

If you’re facing charges for failure to stop for law enforcement, you need to discuss your options with a criminal defense attorney.

Our team at Kulp & Elliott has years of experience helping people in situations just like yours.

Schedule a no-obligation free consultation today. Call 843-853-3310 or send us an email and we’ll get back to you.

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