Lawrence University.org – We often hear about high-speed police chases on the news. Someone accused of a crime-usually a serious one-attempts to flee from the police and a chase ensues. High-speed driving is inherently dangerous in the first place. But when this is combined with the desperation of a fleeing criminal, such chases often end in serious, sometimes fatal, collisions.
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Aside from the risk of death and serious injury, initiating a high-speed chase has serious legal consequences as well. Even high-speed reckless driving alone can be a serious criminal offense. Fleeing arrest is also illegal, and if the chase ends in an accident, manslaughter or murder charges can be filed.
These chases have led to a number of legal controversies. Some have leveled criticism towards police departments for allowing such pursuits. If the suspect gets away, in many cases it may be possible to locate them later. This is not a guarantee, of course, and police departments have developed techniques and technologies for ending these chases more quickly.
The 2007 Supreme Court case of Scott v. Harris ruled that police who are pursuing a fleeing criminal are not to be held responsible for any injuries the fleeing person sustains from the pursuit. The immunity of police to third-party accidents has also been challenged. For the past several years, a law has been on the books in California that would limit police immunity for injuries sustained by innocent third parties. In other words, someone not involved in the chase would then be able to bring a case against the police.
Various organizations have leveled criticism at the high degree of media attention these chases. If the chases get heavy media attention, they argue, that encourages people to flee police pursuit. Of course this even extends beyond the news media: consider, for a start, all the car chases in movies and “real life” police shows. The LAPD has even requested that the media give less attention to these pursuits.
If you are ever suspected of a serious crime, do not flee the police. Aside from risking your life and the lives of others, the legal consequences of fleeing the police are severe. Turning yourself over to the police when they come to arrest you is the safest course of action. Any attempt to resist or flee can lead to more severe punishment than if you give yourself over freely.
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Remember, everyone who is arrested on suspicion of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the most effective way of defending your freedom. The San Jose defense attorney Daniel Jensen has the knowledge and skills to help you. Contact him today for a free consultation.