Legally, all individuals in California are required to obey orders issued by peace officers who are performing their duty in uniform. Any individual that disobeys this requirement can face charges under California Vehicle Code Section 2800: Disobeying a Peace Officer.
Peace officers may also issue out-of-service orders to some drivers that must be obeyed to avoid legal charges. Learn more about out-of-service orders and the penalties for disobeying a peace officer here. The Simmrin Law Group can also help you go over some common legal defenses for VC 2800 charges.
Disobeying a Peace Officer: The Legal Definition
The state of California can charge individuals under VC 2800 anytime they refuse to comply with a uniformed peace officer in the performance of their duties. VC 2800 charges should only apply if an individual acts willfully. Charges can be brought if someone ignores:
- Any Other Lawful Order
VC 2800 charges can also be used to prosecute individuals who do not comply with out-of-service orders. Drivers may be issued an out-of-service order if their vehicles are:
- Not Properly Equipped
- Unsafe to Operate on the Road
Note that, depending on the actions of a driver who is disobeying a peace officer, additional charges could be issued, including:
- California Vehicle Code Section 2800.1: Evading a Peace Officer
- California Vehicle Code Section 2800.2: Reckless Evading Of A Peace Officer
Disobeying a Peace Officer: The Penalties for a Conviction
Drivers can face misdemeanor charges if they are accused of disobeying a peace officer in California. The consequences of a misdemeanor conviction can include up to 6 months of jail time and court fines.
The court can also sentence drivers to a period of probation. Judges can hand down a variety of probationary requirements that drivers must follow, or they can risk facing additional charges for a probation violation.
Disobeying a Peace Officer: Examples
You can check out the following examples of disobeying a peace officer to learn more about VC 2800 charges in California:
Man A is in a hurry to get home after work. Unfortunately, the interstate in front of him seems to be shut down. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers are forcing all drivers to take the closest exit ramp. Man A doesn’t know how to get home if he takes that exit because he’s never been in that part of town. He decides to ignore the officer and continue driving to the next exit, which he is more familiar with. He could be convicted under VC 2800.
Man B is hauling a semi-truck carrying corrosive chemicals. He is stopped by a CHP officer because he is speeding in an attempt to reach his destination on time. The officer checks his vehicle, discovers several problems, and issues an out-of-service order. However, Man B needs his vehicle for work, so he continues to operate it. He could be charged with disobeying a peace officer.
Man C is driving his very pregnant wife to the hospital because she’s gone into labor and things are not progressing well. He believes there is a real risk to her life. The police have set up a barricade to deal with an accident further up the road, but he ignores their efforts to get him to stop and continues on to the hospital at top speed. He should not be convicted under VC 2800 because he was involved in a life-or-death situation.
Disobeying a Peace Officer: Legal Defenses
You do not have to attempt to handle VC 2800 charges on your own. A professional criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can go over the specific facts regarding your case to build to a defense. Your situation may allow your lawyer to argue:
You Didn’t Willfully Disobey a Peace Officer
VC 2800 charges should only apply if you intentionally disobeyed the orders of a peace officer. This means that you should not be charged if you ignored an order because you weren’t aware of it.
You Were Dealing with a Serious Emergency
In a few cases, you may be entitled to ignore a peace officer’s orders. If you are involved in a life-or-death situation, the court may exempt you from disobeying a peace officer charges. For example, if you desperately need to get the hospital, you may be able to avoid a VC 2800 conviction.
Contact a Lawyer to Handle VC 2800 Charges in California
California Vehicle Code Section 2800: Disobeying a Peace Officer charges can be difficult to resolve on your own. Make sure you have the legal advice you need to handle these charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now. You can reach our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles by calling
(310) 997-4688, or filling out our online contact form.
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