Loveland Vehicular Eluding Attorney | CRS 18-9-116.5

Driving recklessly while attempting to avoid law enforcement officials is a criminal offense known as vehicular eluding under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-9-116.5. While this can occur anytime law enforcement officials attempt to conduct a traffic stop, we see it most often in driving under the influence (DUI) cases. If you have been charged with eluding the police in your vehicle, you may be facing serious criminal charges and penalties. If convicted, your future and liberties could be in jeopardy.

Turn to an experienced Loveland vehicular eluding attorney from the Harrell Law Firm, PLLC. With our legal team advocating for your rights and protecting your future, you can rest easier. Contact our legal team to request a confidential consultation today and learn more about the specific penalties you are facing, whether you may qualify for a plea agreement, and which defenses are the best options for your case.

What Does the Felony Vehicular Eluding Statute Under CRS 18-9-116.5 State in Colorado?

The felony vehicular eluding statute under CRS 18-9-116.5 says:

Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle, knowingly eludes or attempts to elude a peace officer also operating a motor vehicle, and who knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being pursued by said peace officer, and who operates his or her vehicle in a reckless manner, commits vehicular eluding.”

Essentially, vehicular eluding involves trying to evade the police while driving recklessly. If police are trying to stop you for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could face additional criminal charges. The elements of the offense are as follows:

  • You must have known or should have known that law enforcement was pursuing you
  • You must have knowingly attempted to or eluded police
  • You must have been operating your vehicle recklessly

Generally, vehicular eluding under this statute is considered a felony-level offense. Your criminal defense attorney will carefully examine the circumstances of your case to determine whether working out a plea agreement with the prosecutor could get these charges reduced to a misdemeanor-level offense.

Charges Related to Vehicular Eluding

In addition to charges for vehicular eluding, you may also be cited or face criminal charges for reckless driving. Reckless driving can involve any actions that willfully or intentionally disregard the safety of others on the roadways. Some examples of reckless driving could include:

  • Driving off-road
  • Driving more than the speed limit
  • Making unlawful U-turns
  • Driving in the wrong lane of traffic
  • Making unsafe lane changes

You could also be arrested and charged with eluding a police officer. This is a similar but separate offense under CRS 42-4-1413. Officers must have signaled you to pull over and be in a marked police car for these charges to apply. It should be noted that you can be charged with eluding a police officer without being charged with reckless driving.

Vehicular Eluding and DUIs

One of the most common reasons people engage in vehicular eluding is because they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to CRS 42-4-1301, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach .08% or higher or you are impaired to the point that you are incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.

When police attempt to stop you, you might panic and attempt to flee. However, this could have devastating consequences and lead to multiple criminal charges on your record. Working with a Loveland vehicular eluding lawyer may be the best way to avoid multiple criminal charges and the penalties that follow.

The Penalties of a Conviction Under CRS 18-9-116.5 Are Steep

The penalties you will face for vehicular eluding under CRS 18-9-116.5 will vary widely based on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are charged with simple eluding, this may be a Class 5 felony, according to the Crime Classification Guide, if there were no serious bodily injuries or deaths. If convicted, you might face:

  • Up to $100,000 in fines
  • Up to three years in a Colorado state prison
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Community service
  • Mandatory completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program

However, if anyone was seriously injured, your charges could be elevated to a Class 4 felony. Maximum fines for Class 4 felony convictions can reach $500,000. You could also spend as much as six years in a Colorado state prison. Additionally, if anyone was killed during the pursuit, you could expect to be charged with a Class 3 felony. This is punishable by fines of up to $750,000 and as much as 12 years in a Colorado state prison.

Can Vehicular Eluding Convictions Be Expunged?

Expungement means records will be erased. It is as if the criminal offense never happened. However, Colorado does not allow expungement, except in the case of a juvenile offense under CRS 19-1-306. Instead, the state offers record sealing to those who qualify. You may be eligible to get your vehicular eluding conviction sealed three years after your case, according to CRS 24-72-706. However, if someone was killed in the course of the pursuit, you will generally not be eligible to get your record sealed pursuant to JDF 611.

Get Help From a Powerful Loveland Vehicular Eluding Attorney Today

Vehicular eluding is a serious offense. You may be charged with a criminal offense under CRS section 18-9-116.5 in conjunction with other types of criminal offenses, including drunk driving, driving while ability impaired (DWAI), or other related crimes. With the wrong judge handling your case, you may be forced to face penalties that run consecutively, not concurrently, which could dramatically lengthen the total amount of time you serve. Do not risk your future.

Connect with a private criminal defense attorney from Harrell Law Firm, PLLC today. When you need a Loveland vehicular eluding lawyer you can trust to build the most powerful defense strategy possible, our firm is the premier choice for your case. When you are ready to schedule your defense strategy session but are unsure of where to begin, do not hesitate. Fill out our online contact form or call our office to schedule your free and confidential consultation as soon as today.