Speeding to Elude Arrest

Drivers are expected to pull over when police officers activate the lights on their vehicles. Motorists who attempt to evade law enforcement through high-speed chases place innocent people at enormous risk.

Alleged offenders charged with speeding to elude arrest typically face additional criminal charges, but not every one of these cases involves an intentional, knowing attempt to break the law. Some people may not have been able to stop because of emergency situations while others may not have recognized there was a police cruiser behind them.

Raleigh Lawyer for Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges

Were you recently arrested for allegedly fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in North Carolina? You owe it to yourself to explore all of your possible legal defenses that could result in these criminal charges being reduced or dismissed.

Our Wake County criminal attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm aggressively defend clients throughout the Raleigh area, including students at such local institutions of higher learning as Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), Duke University, Meredith College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), William Peace University, North Carolina State University, and Shaw University. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case by calling (919) 239-8448 today to set up a free initial consultation.


Wake County Speeding to Elude Arrest Information Center


Misdemeanor Speeding to Elude Arrest in North Carolina

North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.5 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to operate a motor vehicle on a street, highway, or public vehicular area while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer who is in the lawful performance of his duties. If an alleged offender is convicted of this offense, his driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

A person convicted of speeding to elude could also be sentenced to an active, intermediate, or community punishment under North Carolina’s structured sentencing system of punishment. This means that the possible sentence ranges for alleged offenders is determined by a combination of the degree of crime for which he has been convicted as well as his criminal record.

There are three Prior Conviction Levels for misdemeanor offenses, and the judge may get to choose whether the alleged offender is sentenced to a term of incarceration (active punishment), a term of supervised probation with a specific condition (intermediate punishment), or a supervised or unsupervised term of probation with no specific conditions (community punishment).

If a person is convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, the three possible sentencing ranges include:

  • No Prior Convictions (Prior Conviction Level I) — Community punishment of at least one up to 45 days; NOTE:  Community punishment may involve house arrest with electronic monitoring, community service, a period or periods of confinement in a local confinement facility, or other punishments. 
  • One to Four Prior Convictions (Prior Conviction Level II) — Community, intermediate, or active punishment of at least one up to 45 days; or
  • Five or More Prior Convictions (Prior Conviction Level III) — Community, intermediate, or active punishment of at least one up to 120 days.

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Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest in Raleigh

If two or more of the aggravating factors listed under North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.5(b) are present when an alleged offender flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer, this crime becomes a Class H felony offense. Aggravating factors include:

  • Driving in excess of the posted speed limit, during the days and hours when the posted limit is in effect, on school property, in an area designated as a school zone, or in a highway work zone;
  • Driving when the alleged offender’s driver’s license is revoked;
  • Driving with a child under 12 years of age in the vehicle;
  • Gross impairment of the alleged offender’s faculties while driving due to consumption of an impairing substance or a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 or more within a relevant time after the driving;
  • Negligent driving leading to an accident causing property damage in excess of $1,000 or personal injury;
  • Passing a stopped school bus;
  • Reckless driving; or
  • Speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over the legal speed limit.

It is also a Class H felony if there are less than two aggravating factors when an alleged offender speeds to elude arrest but the alleged offense is the proximate cause of the death of any person. A person who is convicted of felony fleeing to elude will have his driver’s license suspended for two years.

Additionally, the state’s “Run and You’re Done” law also means that the alleged offender could possibly lose his motor vehicle if he is convicted. North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.5(k) states that the vehicle driven by the alleged offender at the time of the felony offense becomes property of the state subject to forfeiture.

Persons convicted of any felony in North Carolina subject themselves to punishment under structured sentencing.  Under these guidelines the judge must consider three things:  the class of the felony, the criminal record of the convicted person, and any aggravating or mitigating factors.  Felonies under structured sentencing include six prior record levels for those convicted and three ranges of punishment: aggravated, presumptive, or mitigated.

A person convicted of a Class H felony faces the following possible sentences:

  • 0-1 point (Prior Record Level I) — Community, intermediate, or active punishment with an aggravated range of six to eight months, a presumptive range of five to six months, and a mitigated range of four to five months;
  • 2-5 points (Prior Record Level II) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of eight to 10 months, a presumptive range of six to eight months, and a mitigated range of four to six months;
  • 6-9 points (Prior Record Level III) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of 10 to 12 months, a presumptive range of eight to 10 months, and a mitigated range of six to eight months;
  • 10-13 points (Prior Record Level IV) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of 11 to 14 months, a presumptive range of nine to 11 months, and a mitigated range of seven to nine months;
  • 14-17 points (Prior Record Level V) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of 15 to 19 months, a presumptive range of 12 to 15 months, and a mitigated range of nine to 12 months; or
  • 18 or more points (Prior Record Level VI) — Active punishment with an aggravated range of 20 to 25 months, a presumptive range of 16 to 20 months, and a mitigated range of 12 to 16 months.

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Aggravated Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest in Wake County

When two or more of the aggravating factors listed above are present when an alleged offender flees or attempts to elude a law enforcement officer and the alleged offense is the proximate cause of the death of any person, this crime becomes a Class E felony. This triggers the same vehicle forfeiture provisions under the “Run and You’re Done” law and also leads to a two-year suspension of the alleged offender’s driver’s license.

For a Class E felony, the possible sentences become much more severe:

  • 0-1 point (Prior Record Level I) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of 25 to 31 months, a presumptive range of 20 to 25 months, and a mitigated range of 15 to 20 months;
  • 2-5 points (Prior Record Level II) — Intermediate or active punishment with an aggravated range of 29 to 36 months, a presumptive range of 23 to 29 months, and a mitigated range of 17 to 23 months;
  • 6-9 points (Prior Record Level III) — Active punishment with an aggravated range of 33 to 41 months, a presumptive range of 26 to 33 months, and a mitigated range of 20 to 26 months;
  • 10-13 points (Prior Record Level IV) — Active punishment with an aggravated range of 38 to 48 months, a presumptive range of 30 to 38 months, and a mitigated range of 23 to 30 months;
  • 14-17 points (Prior Record Level V) — Active punishment with an aggravated range of 44 to 55 months, a presumptive range of 35 to 44 months, and a mitigated range of 26 to 35 months; or
  • 18 or more points (Prior Record Level VI) — Active punishment with an aggravated range of 50 to 63 months, a presumptive range of 40 to 50 months, and a mitigated range of 30 to 40 months.

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North Carolina Resources for Speeding to Elude Arrest

North Carolina State Highway Patrol — The State Highway Patrol has more than 1,600 troopers responsible for enforcing North Carolina traffic laws. On this website, you can find answers to frequently answered questions, comment on a trooper, and download documents and forms. Because of the size of this agency, the State Highway Patrol has been responsible for a bulk of speeding to elude vehicle forfeitures.

512 North Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27604
(919) 733-7952

North Carolina General Assembly | House Bill 427 — This is the bill better known as “Run and You’re Done.” You can view all the versions of the bill as well as the history of North Carolina General Assembly chamber actions. It was signed into law by then-Governor Bev Perdue on June 23, 2011, and took effect in December that year.


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Find a Lawyer in Raleigh for Speeding to Elude Arrest Charges

If local or state police attempted to stop you for some traffic offense that turned into you allegedly fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal counsel. Coolidge Law Firm understands that many people charged with this crime had no intention of breaking the law, and we fight to prove their innocence.

Our firm helps clients facing criminal charges in communities throughout the greater Raleigh area, including Holly Springs, Apex, Zebulon, Cary, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wendell, Knightdale, and Wake Forest. You can have our Wake County criminal defense attorneys review your case as soon as you call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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