California Evading Arrest

Vehicle Code 2800.1, “evading a peace officer,” makes it illegal to willfully attempt to flee from a police officer who is pursuing you in a car (or on a bicycle), while driving a motor vehicle.


The charges of evading a police officer will only hold if the district attorney can prove all of these elements:

1. The police car had at least one red light on and it was visible from the front, and you saw or reasonably should have seen it
2. You purposely intended to evade the police
3. The police car had distinctively markings
4. The police car sounded a siren (as needed)
5. The police car was driven by a peace officer wearing a distinctive uniform.


Vehicle Code 2800.1 is known as “misdemeanor evading an officer”. It is similar to but less serious than Vehicle Code 2800.2 “felony reckless evading” and Vehicle Code 2800.3 “evading an officer causing injury or death.”


Here are a few examples that could result in misdemeanor evading an officer charges:

1. A man is speeding on the freeway with marijuana in his pocket. A CHP officer turns on his lights and siren and tries to pull him over. Knowing he has marijuana, he refuses to pull over and weaves through traffic in an attempt to get away.
2. A woman who had her license suspended following a DUI conviction drives anyway to get to school. A cop tries to pull her over for expired tags. She refuses to pull over, knowing her license is suspended, and leads the officer on a chase.


The penalties for a misdemeanor conviction for evading in California include:

1. Up to $1,000 fine
2. Up to 1 year in county jail
3. The vehicle used to allegedly evade the officer can be impounded up to 30 days.


Legal defenses

With an experienced criminal defense attorney, you have some of the following options as legal defenses against charges of misdemeanor evading an officer:

1. There is insufficient evidence that your behavior met ALL the elements that legally define evading an officer
2. You did not have the intention to evade an officer;
3. Voluntary intoxication—which can help show that you did NOT have the intent. The prosecutor must prove intent to get a conviction for this crime.


Our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following to help you better understand misdemeanor evading an officer in California:

The Legal Definition of California Misdemeanor Evading an Officer
Willfully, with specific intent to evade
The Officer’s Car
Officer in uniform
Penalties for Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC Evading an Officer
Legal Defenses to Misdemeanor Evading an Officer Charges
VC 2800.1 and Related Offenses
VC 2800.2 felony reckless evading an officer
VC 2800.3 evading causing injury or death
PC 415 disturbing the peace

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.

Call us for help…

For questions about Vehicle Code 2800.1 evading an officer, or for a free confidential consultation with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.

We have local criminal law offices in and around San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, and several nearby cities.

You may also find helpful information by searching for information on Vehicle Code 2800.2 Felony Reckless Evading Law; Legal Definition of a California Misdemeanor; California Marijuana Possession Health & Safety Code 11357 HS; Vehicle Code 2800.3 Evading an Officer Causing Injury or Death; California Driving on a Suspended License Charges; Penalties for a DUI Conviction in California; The Legal Defense of Voluntary Intoxication; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; Selling or Transportation of a Controlled Substance Health & Safety Code 11352 HS; California “Felon with a Firearm” Penal Code 29800 PC; Elderly Drivers and the California DMV; 20 Ways to Beat a California DUI; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; The Legal Definition of a California Wobbler; DUI of Drugs in California; Penal Code 415 PC “Disturbing the Peace”; and Legal Definition of a California Felony.

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