Unlawful Flight/Felony Flight


When imagining the circumstances of fleeing from the police, most people would think of a television scene of a car racing away from police on an interstate, but the truth is that many times these charges arise from a simple misunderstanding. Simply not noticing that an officer is signaling you to stop for too long can lead to the serious charge of unlawful flight. As a felony, it carries the potential for steep fines, lengthy prison terms, and a felony mark on your criminal background, regardless of the original reason for the traffic stop.

Any charge is stressful to face, but a felony charge involves higher stakes. If you're facing the possibility of years in prison and an arrest record that can change your future opportunities, you need an attorney that can successfully guide you through Arizona's complex legal system and fight your felony flight charge.

Mesa Unlawful Flight Defense Attorney

The legal team at the Law Office of James E. Novak has helped hundreds of clients fight off a range of traffic offenses, including unlawful flight, and they can help you. James Novak has more than 15 years of experience as an attorney, and he knows how to navigate Arizona's complex legal system. A skilled lawyer can make all the difference for defending your future, and James Novak is ready to aggressively fight your charges.

Time is critical when facing any charge, so don't hesitate to contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at [[$phone]]. Our defense team can hear the details of your situation and formulate a defensive strategy that's right for your traffic charge. We proudly serve the area surrounding Maricopa County, including Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

Definition of Unlawful Flight in Arizona

According to Arizona statute 28-622.01, unlawful flight is committed when a driver "willfully flees or attempts to elude a pursuing official law enforcement vehicle" that is appropriately marked as a law enforcement vehicle, and is properly displaying its lights. This means that the drive must have known that the police car was signaling it to stop and must have knowingly chosen not to.

However, drivers have the right to reasonably wait until they can reach a safe place to pull over for highway patrol. This means that if there is a very small shoulder on the interstate, or other circumstances that make a driver feel unsafe to stop, they have the right to continue on to a safer location.

Other circumstances, such as loud music, may have contributed to a driver's not noticing the lights of a patrol car, and officers might see this as fleeing if it persists for too long. You may not have intended to elude police at all, but may still be facing a felony for simple traffic stop. An attorney can help you clear up any misunderstandings that might surround this serious charge.

Penalties for Felony Flight

Unlawful flight is classified as a class 5 felony, which carries the potential for up to 2 years in prison and / or up to $150,000 in fines. If you have any other incidents in your criminal history, this sentence can increase due to Arizona's repeat offender laws. If you have a prior history, you can face up to 6 years in jail.

In addition to court-ordered sentences, you may face other difficulties. You car insurance can easily sky-rocket because of this charge, or you may be dropped from your policy altogether. A felony conviction can also affect housing, employment, and educational opportunities.

The Law Office of James E. Novak | Tempe Unlawful Flight Lawyer

If you're facing a felony charge because of a simple misunderstanding, you need an attorney to proactively fight this charge. James Novak and his staff are ready to take on your case in Maricopa County, no matter how difficult it seems. Call today at [[$phone]] to schedule your free consultation and begin defending your future.

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(840) 413-1499