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Georgia Fleeing And Eluding Lawyer

Under O.C.G.A 40-6-395 (a), any driver who willfully fails or refuses to obey a police officer's signal to stop his vehicle is guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. This provision helps to fill in part of the gap left by O.C.G.A 16-10-52 which covers only escapes from custody or confinement. In order to show a violation of this provision, the state must show that the officer allegedly eluded was in the required uniform and that his vehicle was appropriately marked. In Phillips v. State 162 Ga. App. 471 (1982), the court reversed a conviction under O.C.G.A 40-6-395 where the evidence failed to show that the officer who signaled the defendant to stop was in uniform prominently displaying his badge of office or that the officer's vehicle was appropriately marked as a police vehicle. The court pointed out that the statute requires such circumstances and that these are essential elements of the offense charged. The object of O.C.G.A 40-6-395 a is to ensure the offense of attempting to elude is not found unless the evidence allows a rational jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the person fleeing could not reasonably mistake the pursuing police car for something else. Cook v. State, 180 Ga. App. 877 (1986). The failure to stop after receiving a signal is an essential element of the offense of attempting to elude, and accordingly the State is required to prove the signal was given in the manner alleged. Since the indictment charged defendant with attempting to elude after having been given visual and audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop, and the arresting officer testified that he used only visual signals, the court held that the evidence was insufficient to support the charge as made in the indictment. Little v. State 202 Ga. App. 7 (1991). It is absolutely the State's burden to prove the essential elements of the crime and that burden never passes to the defendant or the accused. It is important to hiring Georgia criminal defense lawyer if facing fleeing and eluding charges in Georgia.