California's Felony Reckless Evading Law
Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC

You commit the crime of “felony reckless evading” in California if:

  1. You evade a police officer in a motor vehicle, as described in Vehicle Code 2800.1 misdemeanor evading an officer; and
  2. In doing so, you drive with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.1

In other words, reckless evading under Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC takes place when someone flees from a law enforcement officer in a car—AND that person drives in a dangerous and/or reckless fashion while doing so.2

There is a very specific legal definition of evading an officer. You are only guilty of that crime if:

  1. You specifically intend to evade the officer;
  2. The officer's car is distinctively marked, with a lighted red lamp in the front, a siren, and at least one other feature identifying it as a law enforcement vehicle; and
  3. The officer is in some form of distinctive uniform.3

Examples

Here are a few examples of situations in which Vehicle Code 2800.2 charges might be filed:

  • A man is driving a stolen car. When a police officer tries to pull him over, he speeds away and proceeds to run several red lights and stop signs. When he is caught he may be charged with both grand theft auto and felony reckless evading.
  • A woman whose license was suspended because of a DUI conviction has to drive anyway to get to work. An officer tries to pull her over. She realizes that she might face driving on a suspended license charges. So she speeds away and drives substantially over the speed limit near a school, nearly hitting a crossing guard.
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Vehicle Code 2800.2 provides for criminal penalties if you drive recklessly while fleeing from a police car.

Penalties

Despite the name, felony reckless evading in California is actually a wobbler—that is, a crime that may be charged as either a misdemeanor OR a felony.4

Reckless evading charged as a misdemeanor carries the following penalties:

  • At least six (6) months and no more than one (1) year in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).5

And if it is charged as a felony, then the penalties for reckless evading an officer are:

  • Sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in California state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).6

In addition, the vehicle in which you are alleged to have evaded an officer may be impounded for up to thirty (30) days.7

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A felony reckless evading conviction can lead to state prison time.

Legal defenses

If you are charged with felony reckless evading, you and your criminal defense lawyer may be able to use one or more of the following legal defenses to avoid a conviction:

  • You didn't intend to evade an officer;
  • There is insufficient evidence that your behavior met the legal definition of evading an officer;
  • There is insufficient evidence that you drove recklessly;
  • The initial traffic stop was illegal; or
  • The legal defense of voluntary intoxication—which may help show that you did not have the necessary intent for a felony reckless evading conviction.8

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

1. The Legal Definition of Felony Reckless Evading an Officer

1.1. Definition of “evading an officer”
1.2. Willful or wanton disregard for safety

2. Penalties for Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC

3. Legal Defenses to Felony Reckless Evading Charges

4. VC 2800.2 and Related Offenses

4.1. VC 2800.1 misdemeanor 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 Felony Reckless Evading an Officer

There are two basic “elements” of the crime of felony reckless evading:

  1. That you evaded an officer while driving a motor vehicle, and
  2. That, in doing so, you drove with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or their property.9
1.1. Definition of “evading an officer”

“Evading an officer” has a very specific legal definition in California. The crime is described in Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC, California's misdemeanor evading an officer law.10

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Evading an officer has a very specific definition in California law.

In order for you to have evaded an officer, all of the following must be true:

First, a peace officer in a motor vehicle must have been pursuing you.11

Second, you must have willfully fled from or tried to flee from him/her in a motor vehicle, specifically intending to evade him/her.12

(“Willfully” means that you did so willingly or on purpose. You do NOT need to have intended to hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.13)

Example: Thomasina 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 25 mph school zone. A police officer tries to pull her over.

But Thomasina 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—and nearly runs over a group of children crossing the street.

Thomasina is probably not guilty of felony reckless evading because she did not evade the officer willfully.

Third, the officer and his/her vehicle must have been distinctively marked. This means that ALL of the following requirements need to have been met:

  1. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the officer's vehicle;
  2. You either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp;
  3. The officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary;
  4. The officer's vehicle was distinctively marked (apart from the lamp and siren); and
  5. The officer was wearing a distinctive uniform (which has to be something more than a badge—but does not have to be a full law enforcement uniform).14
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California's felony reckless evading law requires that the officer's car be distinctively marked.

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;15 and/or
  • “Wigwag” lights (flashing headlights).16

Example: A police officer named Lori is 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.

Lori sees Greg hand something to another man in exchange for some cash.

Lori then follows Greg when he drives off in his car. She turns on her red light, siren, and blinking blue light. Greg does not pull over and instead runs multiple stop signs to try to get away from her.

Eventually Lori catches up to Greg. She finds drugs in his car and charge him with both transportation of a controlled substance and VC 2800.2.

But the prosecutors are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the blinking blue light was visible to Greg. This means Lori's car was not distinctively marked apart from the red light and siren—and that Greg is not guilty of felony reckless evading.17

1.2. Willful or wanton disregard for safety

The key factor distinguishing felony reckless evading from simple (misdemeanor) evading an officer is the requirement that the defendant drove recklessly—with wanton disregard for the safety of people or property—while evading the officer.18

You act with a wanton disregard for safety if you:

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Running multiple stop signs can form the basis of felony reckless evading charges.
  1. Are aware that your actions pose an unjustifiable risk of harm, and
  2. Intentionally ignore that risk.19

You can act with a wanton disregard for safety even if you don't cause any damage—and even if you don't intend to cause any damage.20

Example: In order to evade police officers who are chasing her car, Eva makes an illegal U-turn, drives the wrong way down a one-way street, and drives substantially over the speed limit.

But when she encounters a group of pedestrians crossing the street, she brakes sharply to avoid hitting them. This allows the police to catch her.

It is clear that Eva did not intend to hurt anyone or cause any property damage—and she did not actually cause any.

But she could still be guilty of felony reckless evading, if the jury determines that her actions still posed an unjustifiable risk of injury or property damage.

Also, under Vehicle Code 2800.2, if you commit three (3) or more traffic violations that are assigned a violation point count under the California Vehicle Code, then you are considered to have driven with a wanton disregard for safety.21

This is true regardless of how dangerous those violations actually were under the circumstances.

Example: When police officers try to pull Steven over, he speeds away.

Steven proceeds to run several stop signs, run a red light, and drive 50-60 mph in a residential zone before the officers finally corner him at a dead end. During the chase he accumulates more than 3 traffic violations that would earn him driver's license points.

All this happens on a Sunday when traffic is extremely light. Steven's driving never causes him to come close to hitting another vehicle, and it never causes another driver to take evasive action. And the entire chase lasts only two minutes.

But Steven is still guilty of reckless evading because he accumulated the necessary number of violations. It doesn't matter that the circumstances of the chase may have meant that his driving was not actually that reckless.22

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Depending on the circumstances, speeding while evading an officer could justify Vehicle Code 2800.2 charges.

It is important to note, though, that just evading an officer while driving under the influence will not necessarily be considered reckless evading. Your driving needs to have involved a wanton disregard for safety in addition to the fact that you were driving intoxicated.23

2. Penalties for Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC

Felony reckless evading is—despite its name—actually a wobbler in California law. This means that prosecutors may choose to charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on:

  1. The circumstances of the offense, and
  2. The defendant's criminal history.24

In practice, though, California prosecutors usually choose to charge VC 2800.2 as a felony.

If it is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, then reckless evading an officer carries the following penalties:

And if it is charged as a felony, then Vehicle Code 2800.2 reckless evading carries the following penalties:

  • Felony (formal) probation;
  • Sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).26

You will be charged with only one count of reckless evading for each chase that led to the charges—regardless of how many officers or law enforcement vehicles pursued you.27

Vehicle impoundment; driver's license suspension

Regardless of whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, if you are convicted of reckless evading, then the judge will most likely:

  • Impound the vehicle in which you fled from an officer, for up to thirty (30) days;28 and
  • Suspend your driver's license for a period of time as a condition of your probation.29

Additionally, if you hold a commercial driver's license and commit the crime of Vehicle Code 2800.2 reckless evading in a commercial vehicle, then your right to operate a commercial vehicle will be suspended for one (1) year.30

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Your commercial driver's license could be suspended or revoked if you are found guilty of felony reckless evading.

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 2800.2 VC, all of which occurred while you were operating a commercial vehicle.31

3. Legal Defenses to Felony Reckless Evading Charges

There are several common legal defenses that can be useful for fighting felony reckless evading charges. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you determine which of these would make the most sense for your case.

They include:

Lack of specific intent

You are not guilty under Vehicle Code 2800.2 unless you specifically intended to evade a law enforcement officer.32

According to Oakland criminal defense attorney Reve Bautista33:

“Sometimes people get pulled over in neighborhoods where they fear for their safety. And they may not be 100% sure that the person pulling them over is actually a police officer—particularly if the officer's car isn't clearly marked or it's dark outside. If you were actually trying to escape from what you saw as a potentially dangerous situation—or if you were just trying to get to a safer location before pulling over—then you aren't guilty of evading an officer.”

In this kind of scenario, you should be able to challenge the prosecution's claim that you specifically intended to evade an officer.

Insufficient evidence that you evaded an officer

As we discussed above, California evading an officer law sets out very specific requirements for how the officer's car and clothing need to have looked in order for a person to be convicted of reckless evading.34

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.

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It is sometimes difficult for prosecutors to show that your behavior met the legal definition of evading an officer.

Insufficient evidence that you drove recklessly

Sometimes prosecutors try to turn an evading an officer case into a felony case without good cause to do so—by calling your driving “reckless” when in reality it was not.

In order for you to be convicted of reckless evading, you need to have driven in a way that created an unreasonable risk, or else violated a certain number of traffic laws.35

But let's say you drove in a slightly dangerous way but in a time and place where this was unlikely to lead to injury or damage—by speeding on an empty freeway, for example.

In that case, you may be able to convince the jury that you should not be convicted of felony reckless evading.

Instead, you may only be guilty of misdemeanor evading under Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC—which carries less severe penalties.36

The arrest was based on an illegal stop

Before an officer can pull you over, s/he must have a reasonable suspicion that you are or were engaged in criminal activity.37

This means that if the officer arbitrarily decided to pull you over without any cause to do so—and you didn't stop because you were worried about police brutality or angry because you thought you were the victim of racial profiling—then you may not be guilty of reckless evading an officer. The illegal stop may override any wrongdoing on your part.

The legal defense of voluntary intoxication

The legal defense of voluntary intoxication can be used to fight felony reckless evading charges.38

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

  1. When you evaded an officer, 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 2800.2.39
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You may not be guilty of Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC if you were driving under the influence.

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 is probably preferable to facing a felony evading an officer conviction.

For example, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor rather than a felony—and carries a lower potential jail sentence (up to six months) than even misdemeanor reckless evading.40

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

4. VC 2800.2 and Related Offenses

The California Vehicle and Penal Codes contain several other offenses that may be charged instead of felony reckless evading.

These include:

4.1. VC 2800.1 misdemeanor evading an officer

Misdemeanor evading an officer under Vehicle Code 2800.1 has an identical legal definition to felony reckless evading—except that the former does not require that the defendant have driven with a wanton disregard for safety.41

Misdemeanor evading an officer is what is known as a “lesser included offense” of felony reckless evading.42

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Misdemeanor evading an officer is a lesser offense than felony reckless evading.

This means that the jury may convict you of misdemeanor evading instead, if they determine that you evaded an officer but did not drive recklessly in doing so.

The maximum penalties for misdemeanor evading are up to one (1) year in county jail, and a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).43

4.2. VC 2800.3 evading causing injury or death

If you evade an officer, and in the process you cause the serious bodily injury or death of another person, then you will be charged with Vehicle Code 2800.3 evading an officer causing injury or death.44

If the act of evading an officer causes only serious bodily injury, then this offense is a wobbler. The potential felony penalties include three (3), five (5) or seven (7) years in state prison.45

But if you evade an officer and cause the death of another person, you will be charged with a felony and may receive four (4), six (6) or ten (10) years in state prison.46

4.3. PC 415 disturbing the peace

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

Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor that carries:

  • a potential county jail sentence of up to ninety (90) days, and
  • a potential fine less than four hundred dollars ($400).47

Not to mention that a disturbing the peace conviction carries much less of a stigma on a criminal record than a felony reckless evading conviction.

Call us for help…

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For questions about Vehicle Code 2800.2 felony reckless evading, 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 also invite you to see our video on felony reckless evading - Vehicle Code 2800.2

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.

Legal References:


1 Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading]. (“(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. (b) For purposes of this section, a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property includes, but is not limited to, driving while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer during which time either three or more violations that are assigned a traffic violation point count under Section 12810 occur, or damage to property occurs.”)

2 Same.

3 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading]. (“(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.”)

4 Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading], endnote 1, above.

5 Same.

See also Penal Code 672 PC. (“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 [such as reckless evading as a misdemeanor] or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)

6 Same.

See also Penal Code 18 PC. (“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 felony 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.”)

7 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, 2800.2 [felony reckless evading], 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.”)

8 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2), 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.”)

9 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety [in violation of Vehicle Code sections 2800.1(a) and 2800.2]. 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; 3. During the pursuit, the defendant drove with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; AND 4. 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. [A person employed as a police officer by <insert name of agency that employs police offıcer> is a peace officer.] [A person employed by <insert name of agency that employs peace offıcer, e.g., “the Department of Fish and Game”> is a peace officer if <insert description of facts necessary to make employee a peace offıcer, e.g., “designated by the director of the agency as a peace offıcer”>.]”)

10 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading], endnote 3, above.

11 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2), endnote 9, above.

12 Same.

13 Same. (“Someone commits an act [such as felony reckless evading] 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.”)

14 Same. (“A vehicle is distinctively marked [for purposes of VC 2800.2] 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. 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.”)

15 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 felony evading an officer law].”)

16 See same.

17 Based on the facts of the same.

18 Compare Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading], endnote 1, above, with Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading], endnote 3, above.

19 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2). (“A person acts with wanton disregard for safety when (1) he or she is aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, (2) and he or she intentionally ignores that risk. The person does not, however, have to intend to cause damage.”)

20 Same.

21 Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading], endnote 1, above.

22 Based on People v. Pinkston (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 387.

23 People v. Schumacher (1961) 104 Cal.App.2d 335, 338-39. (“The driving of an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor does not, in and of itself, constitute a wilful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.”)

24 Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading], endnote 1, above.

25 Same.

See also Penal Code 672 PC, endnote 5, above.

26 Same.

See also Penal Code 18 PC, endnote 6, above.

27 CALCRIM 2182 – Evading Peace Officer: Misdemeanor (Veh. Code, § 2800.1(a)), Related Issues [applies to felony reckless evading]. (“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].)”)

28 Vehicle Code 14602.7. Fleeing or evading a peace officer; reckless driving; removal and impoundment, endnote 7, above.

29 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 felony reckless evading 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.”)

30 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, 2800.2 [felony reckless evading], or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.”)

31 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, 2800.2 [felony reckless evading], or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.”)

32 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2), endnote 9, above.

33 Oakland criminal defense attorney Reve Bautista spent over 20 years as a prosecutor with the Contra Costa District Attorney and the San Francisco District Attorney. As a result, she is well-known at every courthouse in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, she devotes her energy to helping protect the rights of criminal defendants in cases ranging from evading an officer to drug crimes to violent felonies.

34 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2), endnote 9, above.

35 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2), endnote 19, above; Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [felony reckless evading], endnote 1, above.

36 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading], endnote 3, above.

37 See Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1.

38 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2)), Bench Notes: Instructional Duty, endnote 8, above.

39 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 a felony reckless evading 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.”)

40 Vehicle Code 23536 VC – Conviction of first violation of § 23152; punishment [compare to penalties under Vehicle Code 2800.2 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).”)

41 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading], endnote 3, above.

42 CALCRIM 2181 – Evading Peace Officer: Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, §§ 2800.1(a), 2800.2)), Lesser Included Offenses.

43 Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – Flight from pursuing peace officer [component of the crime of felony reckless evading], endnote 3, above.

44 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 [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.”)

45 Same.

46 Same.

47 Penal Code 415 PC – Fighting; noise; offensive words [potential plea bargain from felony reckless 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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Our defense attorneys understand that being accused of a crime is one of the most difficult times of your life. Rely on us to zealously and discreetly protect your rights and to fight for the most favorable resolution possible.

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Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370