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Arrested for Fleeing the Police in Minnesota? Here’s What to Do

Earlier this month, a Wilmar man was arrested and charged with fleeing the police in both his car and on foot after officers attempted to pull him over for speeding. He’s behind bars now and facing felony criminal charges instead of just accepting a hefty ticket and fine for driving too fast. 

If convicted, 19-year-old John Paul Smith is looking at spending at least three years in prison and $6,000 in fines. And he’s not alone; police chases have been the subject of reality shows and highly-watched TV news coverage. Why do people flee? For many reasons. If you tried to run – we can help. 

Minneapolis Fleeing the Police Attorney 

Fleeing the police is a serious charge with potentially severe consequences. If you are arrested for fleeing via car, on foot, or both, the Minneapolis criminal defense law firm of Gerald Miller, P.A., can help. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have the legal skill, courtroom savvy, and understanding of Minnesota law to represent you fairly and protect your rights against overzealous prosecutors. 

Give our Minneapolis law firm a call today at 612-430-6743 or fill out our confidential information form. We are available to answer any questions you have 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You also can get in touch via live chat on our home page.

What Does it Mean to Flee the Police? 

Research for years has revealed that drivers who attempt to flee peace officers – that includes local cops, federal agents, and even fish and wildlife officers – usually do so after committing minor driving offenses. Mr. Smith, for example, the Wilmar suspect, was speeding. 

The bottom line? Statistically, the flight of those to try to evade is typically futile and exposes them to much greater punishment than the original crimes.

Minnesota lawmakers have put specific criminal laws in place intended to punish would-be fleers who try to evade police officers across the state. Intended to create a deterrent for trying to escape or make an officer’s investigation more difficult, Minnesota statute provides for punishments that can be added on top of the primary crime or even levied if the person was only wanted for questioning and not under arrest. And not only is it a deterrent, it is really in place to hope to keep people safe. When people flee in a motor vehicle, other people on the roadway are at great risk most of the time.

A driver may be charged with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle if the individual increases their speed, turns off their headlights or taillights, fails to stop or uses other means to evade police after the officer signals for the driver to stop. In the recent incident cited above, the suspect was allegedly driving 92 miles an hour and indicated that he was going to stop when police approached him, but then he took off. 

Fleeing the Police Consequences

In Minnesota, fleeing police is a felony and can be punished with up to three years of incarceration and hefty fines. The punishment is even stiffer if someone – a passerby, for example – gets hurt during the suspect’s attempt to evade officers, his or her penalty goes up to seven years’ imprisonment and fines up to $14,000. And at the same time, if someone is killed during the chase, the suspect is looking at up to 40 years’ in prison and $80,000 in fines. Fleeing the police is a life-changing event for potentially everyone involved. 

Minnesota Fleeing the Police Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation 

If you’ve been arrested for fleeing the police, you can expect the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your driving privilege for one year. This is different from a DWI, or driving while impaired in that a limited license will not be issued. Again, the state takes fleeing the police very seriously. 

If you are convicted of fleeing, the DPS will revoke your driving privileges on top of prison time. The length of revocation is typically as follows:

  • First offense = 1 year
  • Second or subsequent offense = 3 years
  • Offense resulting in substantial bodily harm = 5 years
  • Offense resulting in great bodily harm = 7 years
  • Offense resulting in death = 10 years

Best Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

Need a criminal defense lawyer? If you are arrested for fleeing or any crime, Gerald Miller, P.A., can help. Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented every type of crime, from fleeing, to DWI, to drugs, to probation violation, to domestic assault and assault. 

Give our Minneapolis law firm a call today at 612-430-6743 or fill out our confidential information form. We are available to answer any questions you have 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You also can get in touch via live chat on our home page

About Gerald Miller, P.A.

Were you or someone you love arrested for fleeing the police or another crime? The process can be worrisome – or even frightening. There is a lot of legal jargon to weave through and court dates to attend.

You’re not alone. We can help, whether it’s your first arrest  or if you’ve been convicted in the past. If you are facing a Minnesota criminal conviction, the experienced Minneapolis defense attorneys at Gerald Miller, P.A. will review your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest. Our firm has a high success rate. We’ve fought cases all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court. We dig into every aspect of the case, from the time of the arrest the officer’s actions to the accuracy of their alleged evidence.

What makes Gerald Miller different from other Minnesota criminal defense lawyers?

The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide, but we have focused on criminal defense for nearly 40 years. A feonly charge can affect your living situation, your finances, and your professional reputation. Don’t let one incident negatively impact your future. 

We have earned dozens of positive Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. Our firm is widely recognized throughout the Twin Cities for our professionalism, compassion, knowledge, and dedication both in and out of the courtroom. The Minneapolis defense attorneys at Gerald Miller Law Firm are respected by our peers, colleagues, judges, and prosecutors. We have earned national awards and accolades from the American Bar Association, The National Trial Lawyers, the American Institute of DWI/DUI Attorneys, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the National Academy for DUI Defense, and more. 

Gerald Miller, P.A. also has received the elite “SuperLawyer” distinction by Thomson Reuters. 

Legal Counsel is Critical to Success

The sooner you contact us, the faster we can start protecting your rights.  Even if your case cannot be dismissed, the charges may be reduced and punishment can be minimized, which are positive outcomes as well. There are a number of details in each person’s case that could have a huge impact on the possible outcome. It also helps if you were cooperative at the time of your arrest.

Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation at 612-440-4610. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope, and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind. Visit www.geraldmillerlawyer.com or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We’re here to help. 

About the author

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.

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