The state of California expects all drivers to adhere to certain rules while they operate their vehicles. One of these rules requires drivers to stop if they are instructed to do so by a peace officer. Drivers may be charged under California Vehicle Code Section 2800.4: Evading a Peace Officer by Driving in the Opposite Direction of Traffic if they disobey this rule.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you go over the definition of evading a peace officer in California. You can also use this article to get information about VC 2800.4 convictions and common legal defenses to evading a peace officer by driving in the opposite direction of traffic charges.
VC 2800.4: California’s Legal Definition
The act of evading a peace officer is clearly defined in California Vehicle Code Section 2800.1: Evading a Peace Officer. According to this charge, individuals may be charged with evading a peace officer if they intentionally flee or attempt to flee a peace officer who is operating a distinctly marked vehicle.
Legally, drivers must stop for any peace officer that:
- Wears a Distinctive Uniform
- Sounds a Siren as Necessary
- Drives a Distinctly Marked Vehicle That
- Has at Least One Visible Red Lamp Lit
Drivers that evade a peace officer by driving their vehicle against traffic can face specific charges under VC 2800.4. Note that drivers must intentionally drive the opposite of traffic to face a VC 2800.4 charge in California. Driving opposite of traffic can involve someone as simple as driving the wrong way down a road.
VC 2800.4: Similar Charges
Evading a peace officer by driving in the opposite direction of traffic is one of several charges used for evasion of peace officers. Drivers may also face charges for:
- California Vehicle Code Section 2800.2: Reckless Evading of a Peace Officer
- California Vehicle Code Section 2800.3: Evading a Peace Officer and Causing Death or Serious Bodily Injury
Depending on the level of care displayed by a driver, they could also be charged with reckless driving for carelessly endangering the lives of others.
VC 2800.4: Examples
Man A had a few drinks and got behind the wheel. Half-way home, he spotted police lights in his rearview mirror and decided to try to evade a traffic stop. He took the next right, onto a one-way road that wasn’t going his direction. He could be charged under VC 2800.4.
Man B is involved in a major traffic accident that ends up spinning his vehicle around. He is left facing the opposite direction of traffic and drifting forward in a daze. He should not be charged with VC 2800.4 because he isn’t trying to evade a peace officer and did not intend to move against traffic.
VC 2800.4: Penalties for a Conviction
Drivers accused of a VC 2800.4 violation may face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the facts surrounding their case. Convictions for evading a peace officer by driving in the opposite direction of traffic can lead to the following penalties:
Misdemeanor VC 2800.4 Charges:
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
- Fines: Up to $1,000
Felony VC 2800.4 Charges:
- Prison Time: Up to Three Years
- Fines: Up to $10,000
The court system may offer some drivers probation with a VC 2800.4 conviction instead of jail or prison time.
VC 2800.4: Potential Legal Defenses
You can get legal help if you are accused of evading a peace officer by driving in the opposite direction of traffic. You can contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles to get help building a defense for VC 2800.4 accusations. A legal professional may be able to show that:
You Didn’t Drive Against Traffic Willfully
Drivers must intentionally drive in the opposite direction of traffic to face a VC 2800.4 conviction. This means that if you were forced to drive opposite traffic due to an accident or a previous collision, you may be able to avoid VC 2800.4 charges.
You Weren’t Trying to Evade a Peace Officer
VC 2800.4 deals specifically with drivers who drive in the opposite direction of traffic to avoid a peace officer. If you weren’t trying to get away from a peace officer you may instead be charged under California Vehicle Code 21651(b): Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer in California Now
Drivers can face incarceration and fines after a California Vehicle Code Section 2800.4: Evading a Peace Officer by Driving in the Opposite Direction of Traffic conviction. Get professional help handling a VC 2800.4 accusation by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can call us at (310) 896-2723, or fill out our online contact form.
Speak with a criminal defense lawyer today for a FREE consultation.