Articles Posted in Unlawful Flight

In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his guilty conviction for one count of unlawful flight from a police officer. Originally, a police officer attempted to pull the defendant over for failing to stop at a stop sign. When the defendant’s car took off, the officer lost sight of the driver but eventually located the defendant through a photo identification process. The defendant was charged and convicted, and he promptly appealed.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a police officer was patrolling in his car one evening when he saw a white truck roll through a stop sign. The officer activated his lights and tried to initiate a traffic stop. The truck, being driven by the defendant, at first pulled over onto the road’s shoulder but then quickly sped away. The officer began chasing the defendant by car, at one point observing the defendant through the truck’s lower driver’s side window.

A few minutes later, the truck stopped in front of a home and the driver left the vehicle. Again, the officer caught sight of the defendant in the headlights of his car. The defendant walked towards a fence by the home, and the officer lost sight of him.

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In a recent opinion from an Arizona court, the defendant’s appeal of his conviction for fleeing from law enforcement was denied. Originally, the defendant was convicted and sentenced after he allegedly ran on foot from a police officer that was pursuing him. On appeal, he argued that the officer’s process for identifying him as the person fleeing was insufficient and unreliable. The court considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately affirmed his conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a police officer was driving one day in March 2016 when a car ran a stop sign, entered his lane, and caused him to swerve in order to avoid crashing. According to the officer, at that moment, the officer “locked eyes” with the car’s driver, getting a full view of the driver’s face.

The officer then tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the car kept driving and a pursuit ensued. The driver ended up stopping at an apartment complex, where he and two other occupants got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. Again, the officer caught sight of the driver’s face. Minutes later, the officer identified the driver as the defendant in this case after he was shown a photograph with the defendant’s name on it. Pulling up an additional photograph of the defendant using his patrol unit computer, the officer again confirmed that the driver was the defendant.

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5 Things You Should Know about Your Rights in a Police Stop and Arrest

You cannot be arrested solely for a non-criminal traffic violation in Mesa, AZ.

However, that changes if you fail to stop or try to elude police when you are signaled to pull over. Failure to stop violates Arizona’s unlawful flight laws.

The most important thing you can do when you realize police are signaling you to stop, is to pull over safely and promptly.

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