It’s a felony offense in Minnesota for a driver to flee or to attempt to flee a police officer who is lawfully discharging his official duties when the driver knows or reasonably should know that he is being pursued by a police officer. The case normally begins by the officer attempting to execute a stop for a traffic violation, a cancelled or revoked driver’s license, or for an outstanding warrant. The case usually involves a driver increasing his speed to well over 100 mph combined with evasive driving conduct over a considerable distance. The driver may eventually be stopped and arrested by the police or he may escape and avoid capture. If the suspect is arrested after the chase, police will establish the identity of the driver. If the driver escapes, the police will follow up their investigation by using the plate number on the vehicle to track the suspect to his residence for questioning in order to determine if he was the driver.
The defense in a fleeing a peace officer case may focus on any of the following legal issues: (1) did the driver intentionally flee or attempt to flee the police officer; (2) was the officer lawfully discharging his official duty; (3) did the driver know or should he have known that he was being pursued by a police officer; and (4) was the suspect the same person who drove the vehicle on the date of the offense. If a suspect who escaped police pursuit is eventually caught, the police will attempt to gain an admission from him that he was in fact the driver. The suspect at this point should exercise his constitutional right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions from the police or police investigators. The suspect in a fleeing case should never discuss the facts of the case with any third person as they could potentially testify against him at trial regarding his statements. Please do not discuss your case on a jailhouse phone as the conversation may be recorded.
If you, or someone you know, has been arrested for fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, call Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane now for the “Best Defense” at (612) 339-1024. Mr. Shane has been defending the freedom of the accused since 1983.