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DUI EVADING - VEHICLE CODE 2800


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PETER F. IOCONA
ATTORNEY AT LAW

22982 LA CADENA DR #239
LAGUNA HILLS, CA. 92653




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23152 VERDUGO DR #201
LAGUNA HILLS, CA. 92653

 



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ALAN CASTILLO AND PETER F.  IOCONA BOTH SELECTED AS ONE OF ORANGE COUNTY'S TOP-RATED DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

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DUI EVADING - VEHICLE CODE 2800

RATED BY SUPER LAWYERS, ORANGE COUNTY'S TOP-RATED DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

Peter F. Iocona - Top 100 Trial LawyersPeter F. Iocona - Super Lawyers Rated Orange County DUI Lawyer  Peter F. Iocona - Top-Rated DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
 Peter F. Iocona - Top-Rated Orange County DUI Defense Attorney

EVADING A PURSUING POLICE OFFICER

CVC § 2800.1(a) prohibits evading a pursuing a police officer. It reads:

(a)        Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor if all of the following conditions exist:

(1)        The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.

(2)        The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.

(3)        The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked.

(4)        The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.

In People v. Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002, the California Supreme Court held that an officer’s vehicle is “distinctively marked,” as a required element of evasion statutes, if its outward appearance during pursuit exhibits, in addition to red light and siren, one or more reasonably visible features distinguishing it from other vehicles.

In People v. Brown (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 596, the court dealt with a violation of CVC § 2800.3, evading a peace officer causing injury or death. Since CVC § 2800.3 includes a violation of §2800.1 as one of its elements, the opinion described the elements of a CVC § 2800.1 offense, stating proof of the offense requires proof that:

1.         “[A]t least one lighted red lamp [was] visible from the front,” and the person saw or should have seen it; and,

2.         The siren was on; and,

3.         The peace officer’s car was distinctively marked; and,

4.         A peace officer was driving the vehicle and wearing a distinctive uniform.

In People v. Richie (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 1347, the court once again stated that the officer must be in uniform. This case also held that jury instructions are not necessary to define the meaning of willful and wanton.

In People v. Estrella (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 716, the court held that evidence of unmarked police cars and oddly uniformed officers was sufficient for conviction of fleeing under CVC § 2800.2.

In People v. Mathews (1998) 64 Cal.App.4th 485, the court held that an officer in plain clothes, with only a badge on his belt, was not wearing a distinctive uniform.

Proof of a violation of CVC § 2800.2, felony reckless driving while evading a peace officer, always includes proof of a CVC § 2800.1 offense (People v. Springfield (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 1674). CVC §2800.2(b), defines for purposes of that section alone, “willful or wanton disregard of persons or property.” The definition includes, among other things, three or more violations that are assigned a traffic violation point count under Section 12810. These violations probably have to be pled and proved in a manner analogous to the procedure for pleading and proving the supporting offense in a CVC §23153 case (see chapter 1). However, a violation of CVC § 2800.2 does not necessarily require the continuous use of lights and siren (People v. Copass (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 37) or continuous following. See: People v. Pakes (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 125.

In People v. Dewey (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 216, the opinion held that fleeing a peace officer is a crime of moral turpitude; therefore making this an issue for those who hold a professional license.

In People v. Jones (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 663, the court held that felony evasion of a police officer, causing the death of a person, is not felony murder. However, note People v. Howard (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1129, in which the California Supreme Court held that CVC § 2800.2(b) greatly expanded the meaning of the quoted statutory phrase to include conduct that ordinarily would not be considered particularly dangerous.


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