Just this morning, a high-speed chase through Midtown came to an end when a car plunged 30 feet down an embankment, landed on the Downtown Connector and burst into flames. The entire ordeal lasted about 15 minutes.
The incident began when an officer attempted to pull over a white Mercedes sedan on Piedmont Road around 3:15 a.m. The officer allegedly witnessed the car speeding, clocking the driver's speed at 63 mph.
A spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol explained that after a brief slowdown near Armour Drive, the Mercedes took off again, heading south on the Buford Spring Connector. At the Brookwood split, the sedan fell onto I-75 North and caught fire. A witness saw the driver escape the flames and continue to flee on foot.
The authorities finally managed to locate the driver in a woodline near 1-75, injured and hiding from the police. Burnett was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and is facing charges of fleeing from an officer, D.U.I., driving with a suspended license, speeding, and other related traffic offenses.
As a Fulton County D.U.I. Lawyer, I have seen many cases where people have attempted to flee from police in fear of being charged with a D.U.I. I'll be discussing this in today's post.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer
Under Georgia law, it is illegal for any vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. Even a first-time charge of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer is a high and aggravated misdemeanor, meaning there are significant ramifications that include a minimum of ten days in jail. However, if the accused driver, while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer in an attempt to escape arrest for any offense: (1) Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit; (2) Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian; (3) Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries; (4) Is D.U.I. over .08 grams; or (5) Leaves the state, they will be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 and / or imprisonment for a term of between one and five years. O.C.G.A. 40-6-395.
As you can see, fleeing or eluding a police officer is a very serious crime. Like any serious crime in Georgia, you need a qualified attorney who will give you the attention and commitment you need to defeat these charges. As a Fulton County D.U.I. Attorney, I know that many times, the accused is simply not guilty of the charge. They are incorrectly charged because they did not hear or see the officer. Even if the accused is guilty, there have been many circumstances where alternative punishments or reductions to lesser offenses are available.
If you have been charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer in Fulton Court, a D.U.I. in Fulton County, or both, contact us now for immediate legal assistance.