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Orange County Bar Association

Woman Flees From Police in Orange County

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

A woman evaded the police in Huntington Beach, Orange County on January 13, 2010 after being pulled over around 12:30 a.m. Police suspected she was on drugs and were discussing the situation, when the woman suddenly fled in her vehicle and headed south on Pacific Coast highway. The woman led the police on a chase from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach, where she eventually crashed into a guardrail after running over spike strips police had laid out. The woman did not suffer any injuries and was taken to jail on possible charges of Vehicle Code Section 2800.1. The code section specifies that “any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist: (1) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp. (2) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary. (3) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked. (4) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.” Notably, this crime can also be a felony under vehicle code section 2800.2 if in addition to fleeing the police the individual drives with a wanton, willful disregard for the safety of persons or property. That crime can carry a maximum of three years even without causing any injury or property damage.

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