James K. Minick

James K. Minick

Speeding to elude arrest offenses are offenses that are generally committed while in the commission of another offense. As such, they are just another way the State can add additional charges against an individual. The punishments for these offenses are also pretty strict since the commission of these offenses prevents law enforcement from performing their job and ensuring public order. The following offenses are broken down by their required elements and the punishments that each offense carries upon conviction. As such, the State is required to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction.

Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Operate
  2. A motor vehicle
  3. On a street, highway, or public vehicular area
  4. While fleeing or attempting to elude
  5. A law enforcement officer
  6. Who is lawfully performing his or her duties, and
  7. Two or more of the following aggravating factors are present when the violation occurs:
    1. Speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over the legal speed limit
    2. Gross impairment of the person’s facilities while driving due to:
      1. Consumption of an impairing substance or
      2. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 or more within a relevant time after the driving
    3. Reckless driving as proscribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-140
    4. Negligent driving leading to an accident causing
      1. Property damage in excess of $1,000 or
      2. Personal injury
    5. Driving when the person’s driver’s license is revoked
    6. Driving in excess of the posted speed limit, during the days and hours when the posted limit is in effect, on school property, or in an area designated as a school zone pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.1, or in a highway work zone as defined by N.C. Gen. Stat § 20-141(j2)
    7. Passing a stopped school bus as proscribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-217
    8. Driving with a child under 12 years of age in the vehicle; and

The defendant can raise an affirmative defense that they were unaware that they were being pursued or that they were unaware that the chasing vehicle was a law enforcement officer.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of felony speeding to elude arrest, they are guilty of a Class H felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5. Additionally, upon conviction of a felony, a defendant’s driver’s license is revoked for up to three years under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5(d).

Aggravated Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Operate
  2. A motor vehicle
  3. On a street, highway, or public vehicular area
  4. While fleeing or attempting to elude
  5. A law enforcement officer
  6. Who is lawfully performing his or her duties, and
  7. Two or more of the following aggravating factors are present when the violation occurs:
    1. Speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour over the legal speed limit
    2. Gross impairment of the person’s facilities while driving due to:
      1. Consumption of an impairing substance or
      2. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 or more within a relevant time after the driving
    3. Reckless driving as proscribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-140
    4. Negligent driving leading to an accident causing
      1. Property damage in excess of $1,000 or
      2. Personal injury
    5. Driving when the person’s driver’s license is revoked
    6. Driving in excess of the posted speed limit, during the days and hours when the posted limit is in effect, on school property, or in an area designated as a school zone pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.1, or in a highway work zone as defined by N.C. Gen. Stat § 20-141(j2)
    7. Passing a stopped school bus as proscribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-217
    8. Driving with a child under 12 years of age in the vehicle; and
  8. The conduct is the proximate cause of the death of any person

This offense is almost exactly similar to felony speeding to elude arrest except for element 8, which stipulates that the conduct must be the proximate cause of the death (but for the actions, the death would not have occurred).

Punishment

If a person is guilty of aggravated felony speeding to elude arrest, they are guilty of a Class E felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5(b1).

Misdemeanor Speeding to Elude Arrest

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Operate
  2. A motor vehicle
  3. On a street, highway, or public vehicular area
  4. While fleeing or attempting to elude
  5. A law enforcement officer
  6. Who is lawfully performing his or her duties

Punishment

If a person is guilty of misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest, they are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5(a).

Additionally, under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5(d), a misdemeanor conviction results in a suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license for up to one year.

Aggravated Misdemeanor Speeding to Elude Arrest

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Operate
  2. A motor vehicle
  3. On a street, highway, or public vehicular area
  4. While fleeing or attempting to elude
  5. A law enforcement officer
  6. Who is lawfully performing his or her duties, and
  7. The conduct is the proximate cause of death of any person

This offense is almost exactly similar to misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest except for element 7, which stipulates that the conduct must be the proximate cause of the death (but for the actions, the death would not have occurred).

Punishment

If a person is guilty of aggravated misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest, they are guilty of a Class H felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-141.5(b1).

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