Evading police, sometimes called fleeing, or resisting arrest may include the act of knowingly running away from a police officer in order to avoid being apprehended, detained or arrested. Evading (or attempting to evade) detention or arrest can carry stiff penalties in Wisconsin.

If you’ve run from police, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer who can help you. Your attorney will give you case-specific advice and tell you what you should do next.

What Happens to People Who Evade the Police?

Maybe you were stopped by a police officer and you panicked. Maybe you had other things on your mind; perhaps you were carrying drugs or had a warrant for your arrest and you didn’t want to spend time in jail.

If you drive away from police, they’re likely to charge you evading. This can be in addition to other charges, depending on the circumstances leading up to the event. What happens if you’re convicted of evading may depend on whether you used a vehicle to escape, as well as whether anyone was hurt during your flight.

The Penalties for Fleeing in Wisconsin

You could be convicted of a Class I felony if the prosecution can prove that you eluded an officer in the state of Wisconsin. There are penalty enhancers, though. If someone else is harmed, or if you’ve damaged property, you may be guilty of a Class H felony. If someone receives great bodily harm, you’ll be facing a Class F felony, and if someone dies, you’ll be guilty of a Class E felony.

What to Do if You’ve Run from Police

With all these variables, it’s important to make sure your side of the story comes out. Don’t assume the court will decide in favor of law enforcement, but do know that it’s usually helpful to have someone fighting in your corner.

Police officers know the laws better than you do, and testify in court cases on a regular basis. You deserve a caring, knowledgeable defense lawyer who will listen carefully to your account of the incident and see that the court hears your side of the story. If police acted inappropriately or if other extenuating circumstances led you to run from the police, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help ensure the best possible outcome when your case goes to court.