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As if standard charges for fleeing or eluding weren’t serious enough, state lawmakers took the extra step to increase punishments for anyone convicted of aggravated fleeing. Aggravated fleeing or eluding requires an extra element of recklessness on behalf of the defendant, but just like standard fleeing, the evidence can sometimes only consist of testimony from a biased and angry police officer. Few things get under the skin of officers more than fleeing when they try to initiate a traffic stop. It’s almost as if they take in personally, which can lead to false and trumped up charges. Benjamin Herbst will not let his clients be convicted for false fleeing or eluding charges, and will fight tooth and nail for a dismissal or reduction the minute he is hired. He is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in aggravated fleeing, and he is available to speak anytime at (954) 543-0305. Benjamin represents defendants in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie County, and has successfully defended hundreds of clients in felony offenses. Call Benjamin for a free phone consultation 7 days a week, or set up an office visit at his Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach locations. He also is willing to travel anywhere in South Florida to meet at a convenient location to discuss the case.
If a Florida police officers attempts to conduct a traffic stop and the driver fails to stop, he or she will face third-degree felony charges for fleeing. If in addition to failing to stop, the defendant also drives at a high speed or in any manner that demonstrates a wonton disregard for the safety of persons or property, the charge becomes a second-degree felony of aggravated fleeing. If serious bodily injury or death occurs as a result of the defendant fleeing the charge becomes a first-degree felony. This first-degree charge does not require proof of recklessness or a high-speed chase. Any conviction for first-degree aggravated fleeing requires the trial judge to impose a 3-year mandatory prison sentence that must be served day-for-day. Also, any vehicle that is involved in the fleeing can be confiscated by law enforcement under the principal of forfeiture. The government can lock you up and steal your car if you get convicted. The stakes are extremely high in aggravated fleeing cases, which makes it all the more important to retain an experienced lawyer. There could be a variety of defenses available in your case, which if argued properly could result in a dismissal or reduction of charges. Benjamin will thoroughly examine your case to see which defenses are appropriate, and he never backs down from trial if the state us unwilling to drop the charges.
In all fleeing or eluding cases, the state is required to prove the defendant knowingly and willfully fled the officer. Police officers routinely lose sight of vehicles and later claim it was a result of the defendant fleeing, but Benjamin will not let flimsy cases like this stand. In addition, aggravated fleeing charges may be based solely on an officer’s opinion that the defendant drove at a high speed or in a reckless manner. In reckless driving cases the state may lose a motion for judgment of acquittal based on lack of evidence that the defendant acted in a willfully and wonton disregard for people or property. A similar defense may be available to defendants in aggravated fleeing cases. As we stated before, police officers take fleeing cases personally, and this bias will show upon an effective cross examination by a skilled lawyer. Benjamin knows how to cross examine police officers in order to bring their biases to light, and he will make the jury question their testimony. If you have been charged with aggravated fleeing in any South Florida or Treasure Coast jurisdiction contact criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst for a free consultation about your case. Benjamin provides all clients with his cell phone number for access on nights and weekends, and he is never too busy to answer questions or go over strategy. Do not gamble with your future by going to court on aggravated fleeing charges without a skilled lawyer by your side.