Criminal Penalties For Fleeing the Police:
It is a felony in Minnesota to flee the police in a motor vehicle. The felony carries with it a term of imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to five-thousand dollars.
The term “flee” is defined in Minnesota Statute § 609.487 as: “to increase speed, extinguish motor vehicle headlights or taillights, refuse to stop the vehicle, or use other means with the intent to attempt to elude a peace officer following a signal given by any peace officer to the driver of a motor vehicle”.
In addition to cars, trucks, SUVs and pick-ups, the statutory definition of a “motor vehicle” includes snowmobiles, off-road recreational vehicles and motorboats.
If someone is killed as the result of fleeing in a motor vehicle, the penalty is up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $80,000.00. If the fleeing results in great bodily harm to another individual, the penalty is up to seven years imprisonment and a $14,000.00 fine. And if fleeing in a motor vehicle results in substantial bodily harm to another, the penalty is up to five years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.
If the individual flees the police but does not use a motor vehicle, the crime is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
Civil Penalties for Fleeing the Police:
Drivers License Penalties:
Anyone convicted of fleeing the police in a motor vehicle will lose his or her license for one year. If a death occurred as a result of fleeing the police, the license will be revoked for 10 years. If great bodily harm was incurred, the license revocation period is for seven years. If substantial bodily harm was incurred as the result of fleeing the police in a motor vehicle, the revocation period is for five years.
The vehicle used to flee the police is also subject to forfeiture, pursuant to Minnesota Statute § 609.5312, sub. 4, if the “fleeing” endangered life or property. A criminal conviction for fleeing is required for the forfeiture to proceed against the vehicle.
If you see the police emergency lights come on behind your vehicle, resist the temptation to take off to try to get away! Why turn a petty or misdemeanor offense into something far more dangerous and serious?
If you or a loved one have been arrested for fleeing the police, contact Minnesota DWI Super Lawyer F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your questions.