California's Evading an Officer Law
Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC

You can be charged with the California crime of “evading a peace officer” under Vehicle Code 2800.1 if, while driving a motor vehicle, you willfully attempt to flee from a police officer who is pursuing you in a car or on a bicycle.1

But evading a police officer charges will only stick if the prosecutor can prove all of the following facts about the incident:

  1. You specifically intended to evade the officer;
  2. The officer's vehicle was exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front, and you either saw or should have seen it;
  3. The officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as necessary;
  4. The officer's vehicle was distinctively marked; and
  5. The officer's vehicle was operated by a peace officer wearing a distinctive uniform.2

Vehicle Code 2800.1 is what is known as misdemeanor evading an officer.3

It is similar to but separate from the more serious crimes of Vehicle Code 2800.2 felony reckless evading and Vehicle Code 2800.3 evading an officer causing injury or death.

Examples

Here are a few examples of situations in which misdemeanor evading an officer charges might be filed:

  • A woman is driving over the speed limit on a crowded freeway with marijuana in her glove compartment. A highway patrol officer tries to pull her over with his lights and siren on. Desperate to avoid marijuana possession charges, she refuses to pull over and instead speeds away and weaves through traffic to try to avoid him.
  • A man whose license was suspended because of a DUI conviction has to drive anyway to get to work. One day a police officer attempts to pull him over for a broken headlight. Terrified of driving on a suspended license charges, the man refuses to pull over and leads the officer on a chase through residential streets.
28001_policelights
Fleeing from a police car in your motor vehicle constitutes the crime of evading an officer.

Penalties

The penalties for a misdemeanor evading conviction in California include:

  • Up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).4

In addition, the vehicle in which you are alleged to have evaded an officer may be impounded for up to thirty (30) days.5

Legal defenses

With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to use one or more of the following legal defenses to avoid a conviction for misdemeanor evading an officer:

  • You didn't intend to evade the officer;
  • There is insufficient evidence that your behavior met the legal definition of evading an officer; or
  • The legal defense of voluntary intoxication—which may help show that you did not have the necessary intent to be convicted of this crime.6

In order to help you better understand the crime of misdemeanor evading an officer in California, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. The Legal Definition of California Misdemeanor Evading an Officer

1.1. Willfully, with specific intent to evade
1.2. Officer's car
1.3. Officer in uniform

2. Penalties for Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC Evading an Officer

3. Legal Defenses to Misdemeanor Evading an Officer Charges

4. VC 2800.1 and Related Offenses

4.1. VC 2800.2 felony reckless evading an officer
4.2. VC 2800.3 evading causing injury or death
4.3. PC 415 disturbing the peace

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. The Legal Definition of California Misdemeanor Evading an Officer

The legal definition of misdemeanor evading an officer under Vehicle Code 2800.1 consists of the following “elements of the crime”:

  1. A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing you;
  2. You were also driving a motor vehicle, and you willfully fled from or tried to elude the officer, intending to evade him/her;
  3. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the officer's vehicle;
  4. You either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp;
  5. The officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary;
  6. The officer's vehicle was distinctively marked; and
  7. The officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.7

These elements are facts that the prosecutor must prove in order for you to be guilty under Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC.

28001_policecarmarked2
Vehicle Code 2800.1 makes it a crime to flee from a distinctively marked police car.

(The crime of evading an officer can also be committed by fleeing from an officer riding a bicycle. In that case, the elements are somewhat different.8

Because the overwhelming majority of misdemeanor evading cases arise from motor vehicle pursuits, we will focus here on that version of the crime.)

Let's take a closer look at the more important of these elements in order to better understand their meaning.

1.1. Willfully, with specific intent to evade

You are only guilty of evading an officer if you evaded him/her both willfully and with specific intent.9

“Willfully” means that you did so willingly or on purpose. You do NOT need to have intended to

  • break the law,
  • hurt someone else, or
  • gain any advantage.10

Example: Lucia is an elderly driver who is developing dementia. Sometimes while driving she “zones out” and is not aware of her surroundings.

One day she is driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. A police officer tries to pull her over.

But Lucia doesn't understand that the officer is flashing his lights and running his siren for her. She continues to drive at the same speed obliviously.

Lucia is probably not guilty of misdemeanor evading an officer because she did not evade the officer willfully.

That said, evading an officer is what is known as a “specific intent” crime. This means that you need to have specifically intended to do the criminal act—evade a peace officer—in order to be guilty of this crime.11

Law_books
Evading an officer is what is known as a "specific intent" crime.

If you fled from the officer in your car for any other reason, then this can be the basis of an effective legal defense.

Example: Terrence's pregnant wife is in labor. They get in the car to drive to the hospital.

Terrence is nervous because his wife's contractions are very close together. He drives above the speed limit.

Jane, a police officer, tries to pull Terrence over for speeding. But Terrence is extremely concerned that his wife is going to give birth and continues toward the hospital at a high speed.

Jane is able to apprehend Terrence once he arrives at the hospital.

Because Terrence's intent was to get his wife to the hospital as soon as possible—and not to evade Jane—then he is not guilty of evading an officer.

1.2. Officer's car

California Vehicle Code 2800.1 sets out very particular requirements for how an officer's car must be marked during a pursuit that leads to misdemeanor evading charges.

These are:

  1. There must be at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the officer's vehicle;
  2. The officer must be sounding his/her siren as reasonably necessary; AND
  3. The officer's car must be distinctively marked through some means other than the red lamp and the siren.12

Ways in which an officer's car may be distinctively marked include:

  • The seal or name of a police or law enforcement department on the outside of the car;
  • Flashing blue or clear lights that are visible to the driver of the car being pursued;13 and/or
  • “Wigwag” lights (flashing headlights).14
28001_policecarmarked
For VC 2800.1 charges to stick, the police car must be marked in some way other than its red light and siren.

It is crucial that there be a third element marking the officer's car, other than the red lamp and the siren, and that it is visible to you. If there is not, then you are not guilty of misdemeanor evading an officer.15

Example: LAPD officers Andrew and Richard are on patrol in a plain car equipped with a siren, a red light under the rearview mirror and a blue amber blinking light in the back.

The officers see Greg hand something to another man in exchange for some cash; then the other man runs away.

When Greg drives off in his car, Andrew and Richard follow him. They turn on their red light, siren and blinking blue light. But Greg does not pull over and instead runs stops signs to try to get away from the officers.

Eventually Andrew and Richard catch up to Greg. They find cocaine base in his car and charge him with both transportation of a controlled substance and VC 2800.1.

But the prosecutors are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the blinking blue light was visible to Greg. This means the officers' car was not distinctively marked apart from the red light and siren—and that Greg is not guilty of evading an officer.16

It also bears emphasizing that there must be a RED light visible from the front of the officer's vehicle. If there is no red light, the defendant is not guilty of evading an officer—no matter how clearly marked the officer's car was otherwise.17

1.3. Officer in uniform

Finally, Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC requires that an officer pursuing you must be in a “distinctive uniform.”18

A distinctive uniform means clothing adopted by a law enforcement agency to distinguish its members from the general public. It does not need to be a full uniform, or have any particular level of formality.19

28001_policevest
A "police" vest covering is sufficient to distinguish an officer under California's evading an officer law.

However, just a badge, without other distinctive clothing items, is not considered sufficient.20

Example: Ramon is charged with felon with a firearm and misdemeanor evading an officer after he is pursued by two police officers in his car.

One of the officers who pursued him was dressed in a bulletproof vest and a vest covering which bore the word “Police.” She also put on a gun belt during the pursuit.

The other officer was in plain clothes but wore a police department vest, a gun belt, and a baseball cap with “Police” written across the front.

Even though the officers were not in full uniform, their outfits were distinctive enough for Ramon to be guilty of evading an officer.21

2. Penalties for Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC Evading an Officer

As the name of the offense (misdemeanor evading an officer) implies, VC 2800.1 is a misdemeanor in California law.22

The potential penalties include:

  • Misdemeanor (summary) probation ;
  • Up to one (1) year in county jail;
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000);23 and/or
  • The impoundment of the vehicle in which you fled from an officer, for up to thirty (30) days.24

In addition, the judge may suspend your driver's license for a period of time as a condition of your probation.25

28001_pulledover
The vehicle in which you evaded an officer could be impounded if you are convicted of this offense.

You will be charged with only one count of evading an officer for each event giving rise to the charges—regardless of how many officers or law enforcement vehicles pursued you.26

Commercial driver's license suspension

If you hold a commercial driver's license and commit the crime of misdemeanor evading an officer in a commercial vehicle, then your right to operate a commercial vehicle will be suspended for one (1) year.27

And your commercial driver's license will be taken away for the rest of your life if you are convicted of more than one violation of Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC, all of which occurred while you were operating a commercial vehicle.28

Given the fact that many people who hold commercial driver's licenses depend on them for their livelihood, this is a particularly harsh penalty.

3. Legal Defenses to Misdemeanor Evading an Officer Charges

An experienced California criminal defense attorney knows the most promising legal defenses to misdemeanor evading an officer charges.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, these may include:

Lack of specific intent

As we discuss above, you are only guilty under Vehicle Code 2800.1 if you specifically intended to evade the officer(s) pursuing you.29

28001_rearviewlights
For misdemeanor evading charges to stick, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you intended to evade an officer.

Maybe you were distracted and didn't know the officer was trying to pull you over.

Or maybe you feared for your safety in the neighborhood where the officer tried to pull you over—or weren't 100% sure s/he was legitimately a police officer—and were simply trying to get to a location where you felt safer.

In any of these scenarios, you should be able to challenge the prosecution's claim that you specifically intended to evade an officer.

Insufficient evidence

As we discussed above, Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC sets out very specific requirements for how the officer's car and clothing need to have looked for misdemeanor evading an officer charges to stick.30

This means that the prosecution must be able to put forth evidence that all of these requirements are met. In a striking number of cases, they are not able to do this.

As Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney John Murray31 tells us:

“The law is very clear on what's required for a misdemeanor evading conviction: a red light in the front of the officer's car, a siren, AND some other distinctive marking on the law enforcement vehicle. If any of these elements is missing, the charges won't stick. Sometimes prosecutors will try to get a conviction anyway—but a criminal defense lawyer who's familiar with the statute will know to look for the holes in their case.”

28001_unmarkedcarbluelight
You are not guilty of evading an officer if the officer's car was not clearly marked.

The legal defense of voluntary intoxication

The legal defense of voluntary intoxication can be used to fight evading an officer charges.32

This defense may apply if both of the following are true:

  1. When you committed the acts giving rise to the charges, you were under the influence of an intoxicating substance (alcohol or drugs); and
  2. Because you were intoxicated, you could not form the specific intent (to evade an officer) that is an element of VC 2800.1.33

Of course, if you argue the voluntary intoxication legal defense, you could end up facing charges for California DUI or DUI of drugs. But this may be preferable to facing a misdemeanor evading an officer conviction.

For example, a first-time DUI carries a lower potential jail sentence than misdemeanor evading an officer (up to six months instead of up to one year).34

Also, there may be less of a stigma associated with a DUI conviction on your record than with a conviction for evading an officer.

4. VC 2800.1 and Related Offenses

The California Vehicle and Penal Codes contain several other offenses that are closely related to misdemeanor evading an officer.

These include:

4.1. VC 2800.2 felony reckless evading an officer

If you commit the crime of evading an officer as described in Vehicle Code 2800.1—BUT you do so with a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property—then you may be charged under Vehicle Code 2800.2, California's felony reckless evading an officer law.35

State_prison
Felony reckless evading can lead to a state prison sentence.

Felony reckless evading an officer is actually a California wobbler. This means that it may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor—though California prosecutors usually choose to charge it as a felony.36

If it is charged as a felony, reckless evading carries a potential state prison sentence of sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years—and a potential fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).37

4.2. VC 2800.3 evading causing injury or death

If you evade an officer as described in VC 2800.1—and in the process you cause the serious bodily injury or death of another person—then you will be charged under Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC, California's “evading an officer causing injury or death” law.38

If the act of evading an officer causes only serious bodily injury, then this crime is a wobbler. The potential California felony penalties include three (3), five (5) or seven (7) years in state prison.39

28001_crash
VC 2800.3 charges will be filed if you are accused of evading an officer and causing a crash that led to serious injury or death.

And if you evade an officer and cause the death of another person, the potential penalty increases to four (4), six (6) or ten (10) years in state prison.40

4.3. PC 415 disturbing the peace

If the prosecution's evidence is weak—but they are not willing to dismiss the evading an officer charges altogether—then it may make sense to suggest a plea bargain to the lesser charge of Penal Code 415 PC “disturbing the peace”.

That is because this offense carries a potential county jail sentence of no more than ninety (90) days and a potential fine of no more than four hundred dollars ($400).41

Plus, a disturbing the peace charges carries much less of a stigma on a criminal record than an evading an officer charge.

Call us for help…

Help-support-call-us

For questions about Vehicle Code 2800.1 evading an officer, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

For more information on the crime of “evading police” in Nevada, please see our page on the crime of “evading police” in Nevada.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Legal Definition of a California Misdemeanor; Vehicle Code 2800.2 Felony Reckless Evading Law; Vehicle Code 2800.3 Evading an Officer Causing Injury or Death; California Marijuana Possession Health & Safety Code 11357 HS; Penalties for a DUI Conviction in California; California Driving on a Suspended License Charges; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; The Legal Defense of Voluntary Intoxication; Elderly Drivers and the California DMV; Selling or Transportation of a Controlled Substance Health & Safety Code 11352 HS; California “Felon with a Firearm” Penal Code 29800 PC; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; 20 Ways to Beat a California DUI; DUI of Drugs in California; The Legal Definition of a California Wobbler; Legal Definition of a California Felony; and Penal Code 415 PC “Disturbing the Peace.”

Legal References:


1 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [misdemeanor evading an officer]. (“(a) 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. (b) 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 bicycle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if the following conditions exist: (1) The peace officer's bicycle is distinctively marked. (2) The peace officer's bicycle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform. (3) The peace officer gives a verbal command to stop. (4) The peace officer sounds a horn that produces a sound of at least 115 decibels. (5) The peace officer gives a hand signal commanding the person to stop. (6) The person is aware or reasonably should have been aware of the verbal command, horn, and hand signal, but refuses to comply with the command to stop.”)

2 See same.

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with evading a peace officer [in violation of Vehicle Code section 2800.1(a)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing the defendant; 2 The defendant, who was also driving a motor vehicle, willfully fled from, or tried to elude, the officer, intending to evade the officer; AND 3 All of the following were true: (a) There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the peace officer's vehicle; (b) The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp; (c) The peace officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary; (d) The peace officer's vehicle was distinctively marked; AND (e) The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.”)

3 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

4 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [misdemeanor evading an officer], endnote 1, above.

See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. (“Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors [like misdemeanor evading an officer] or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)

5 Vehicle Code 14602.7 – Fleeing or evading a peace officer; reckless driving; removal and impoundment. (“(a) A magistrate presented with the affidavit of a peace officer establishing reasonable cause to believe that a vehicle, described by vehicle type and license number, was an instrumentality used in the peace officer's presence in violation of Section 2800.1 [misdemeanor evading an officer], 2800.2, 2800.3, or 23103, shall issue a warrant or order authorizing any peace officer to immediately seize and cause the removal of the vehicle. The warrant or court order may be entered into a computerized database. A vehicle so impounded may be impounded for a period not to exceed 30 days.”)

6 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), Bench Notes: Instructional Duty. (“On request, the court must give CALCRIM No. 3426, Voluntary Intoxication, if there is sufficient evidence of voluntary intoxication to negate the intent to evade.”)

7 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

8 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [misdemeanor evading an officer], endnote 1, above.

9 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

10 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)). (“Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.”)

11 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

12 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)). (“A vehicle is distinctively marked if it has features that are reasonably noticeable to other drivers, including a red lamp, siren, and at least one other feature that makes it look different from vehicles that are not used for law enforcement purposes.”)

13 See People v. Estrella (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 716, 723. (“However, although we agree that a red light and siren alone do not distinctively mark a police vehicle, we conclude that under the circumstances presented here, the additional “devices” (see Webster's definition, supra) consisting of wigwag lights and the flashing blue and clear lights adequately identified Haskins's vehicle as a police vehicle [for purposes of California's misdemeanor evading an officer law].”)

14 See same.

15 People v. Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002, 1010. (“Because the presence of a red light and a siren on a car are generally associated with police cars, not cars driven by ordinary citizens, one might conclude that these two distinguishing features by themselves would make the car displaying them “distinctively marked.” Section 2800.1 [misdemeanor evading law], however, requires the pursuing police vehicle not only to have a red light and a siren but also to be “distinctively marked.””)

16 Based on the facts of the same.

17 People v. Acevedo (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 195, 197-200.

18 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

19 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)). (“A distinctive uniform means clothing adopted by a law enforcement agency to identify or distinguish members of its force. The uniform does not have to be complete or of any particular level of formality. However, a badge, without more, is not enough.”)

20 Same.

21 Based on People v. Estrella, endnote 13, above.

22 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [misdemeanor evading an officer], endnote 1, above.

23 See endnote 4, above.

24 Vehicle Code 14602.7. Fleeing or evading a peace officer; reckless driving; removal and impoundment, endnote 5, above.

25 Penal Code 1203.1 PC – Probation. (“(j) The court may impose and require . . . other reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for the breach of the law [including California's evading an officer law], for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach, and generally and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the probationer, and that should the probationer violate any of the terms or conditions imposed by the court in the matter, it shall have authority to modify and change any and all the terms and conditions and to reimprison the probationer in the county jail within the limitations of the penalty of the public offense involved.”)

26 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), Related Issues. (“A defendant “may only be convicted of one count of section 2800.2 even though the pursuit involved multiple police officers in multiple police vehicles.” (People v. Garcia (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 1159, 1163 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 694].)”)

27 Vehicle Code 15300 VC – First time violations; hazardous material violations. (“(a) A driver shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one year if the driver is convicted of a first violation of any of the following: . . . (10) A violation of Section 2800.1 [misdemeanor evading an officer], 2800.2, or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.”)

28 Vehicle Code 15302 VC –More than one violation. (“A driver shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of his or her life if convicted of more than one violation of any of the following: . . . (j) A violation of Section 2800.1 [misdemeanor evading an officer], 2800.2, or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.”)

29 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), endnote 2, above.

30 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [misdemeanor evading an officer], endnote 1, above.

31 Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney John Murray is one of Southern California's leading experts on criminal offenses involving motor vehicles. He has considerable experience with evading an officer statutes and the interaction between those laws and other California motor vehicle laws, including DUI.

32 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), Bench Notes: Instructional Duty. (“On request, the court must give CALCRIM No. 3426, Voluntary Intoxication, if there is sufficient evidence of voluntary intoxication to negate the intent to evade.”)

33 See Penal Code 29.4 PC – Voluntary intoxication as excuse for crime; admissibility of evidence. (“(b) Evidence of voluntary intoxication is admissible solely on the issue of whether or not the defendant actually formed a required specific intent [as required for an evading an officer conviction], or, when charged with murder, whether the defendant premeditated, deliberated, or harbored express malice aforethought. (c) Voluntary intoxication includes the voluntary ingestion, injection, or taking by any other means of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or other substance.”)

34 Vehicle Code 23536 VC – Conviction of first violation of § 23152; punishment [compare to penalties under Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC]. (“(a) If a person is convicted of a first violation of Section 23152, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 96 hours, at least 48 hours of which shall be continuous, nor more than six months, and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).”)

35 Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Driving in willful or wanton disregard for safety of persons or property while fleeing from pursuing police officer; penalties [compare to California's misdemeanor evading an officer law]. (“(a) If a person flees or attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 and the pursued vehicle is driven in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, the person driving the vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or by confinement in the county jail for not less than six months nor more than one year. The court may also impose a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or may impose both that imprisonment or confinement and fine.”)

36 Same.

37 Same.

See also Penal Code 18 PC – Punishment for felony not otherwise prescribed; alternate sentence to county jail. (“(a) Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a felony [such as reckless evading an officer] is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, or two or three years in the state prison unless the offense is punishable pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”)

38 Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC – Death or serious bodily injury proximately caused by flight from pursuing peace officer; punishment; “serious bodily injury” defined. (“(a) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 [misdemeanor evading an officer law] proximately causes serious bodily injury to any person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. (b) Whenever willful flight or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 proximately causes death to a person, the person driving the pursued vehicle, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 4, 6, or 10 years.”)

39 Same.

40 Same.

41 Penal Code 415 PC – Fighting; noise; offensive words [potential plea bargain from misdemeanor evading an officer]. (“Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, a fine of not more than four hundred dollars ($400), or both such imprisonment and fine: (1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight. (2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise. (3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.”)

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