Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC - Felony Reckless Evading
Perhaps you’ve recently gotten a note in the mail saying that you were guilty of violating Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC but you aren’t entirely sure what it all means. We’re here to help you understand just what the charge is and what you can do about it! You’ll learn what you need to know about this important violation, including details such as:
- What Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC is
- What it means to have violated it
- What you can do about the violation
- Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections
- How to avoid being cited with a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation
What is Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC?
For the best clarification of this particular violation, let’s start with the formal, legislative definition as defined by the California legislation: “If a person flees or attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer in violation of Section 2800.1 and the pursued vehicle is driven in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,”.
In this particular case, the legislation is saying that it’s against the law to both flee a peace officer and drive recklessly, putting both other drivers at risk. This would be in a case where you are deliberately fleeing them and driving dangerously in the process of doing so.
What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC?
The key detail in receiving a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation is that it is an offense that is related to, and above and beyond, fleeing a peace officer in its purest sense, but rather deliberately driving recklessly in doing so. To make it a little easier to understand, especially in its different versions, let’s put an imaginary driver into the situation, named Janet.
Janet is driving home from work and is worn out from the day, perhaps a little sleepy at the wheel. She runs a red light because she isn’t paying attention to the yellow light that precedes it, and a peace officer pulls into traffic behind her in a marked car. Its lights are on and Janet knows that they’re trying to pull her over.
Annoyed or scared (or both!), Janet starts weaving from lane to lane, ducking in and around other cars in order to evade the peace officer and shake them off her tail. Not only does she know that she’s evading the police, but she’s also putting the other drivers at risk in order to do so. In this case, Janet is guilty of a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC.
Now let’s put Janet into another situation. Perhaps it’s Saturday night and she’s driving along after a nice time out with her friends. Suddenly, a car is behind her with police lights on and is trying to get her attention. Janet has been driving just fine and hasn’t done anything wrong, so this is confusing. She knows that she is well beneath the legal limit for drinking and driving, but is concerned about the questions that may come up.
She deliberately zooms around the next corner and ducks into a subdivision. She drives from street to street and blows a lot of stop signs, zooming around the kids on the street, playing, and the parked cars in her attempt to get away from the peace officer who is still following her.
Even though Janet hasn’t broken any laws at all in her driving, the act of deliberately fleeing the peace officer and then putting other people and property at risk to do so is another example of a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC.
The important detail, here, is that Janet is driving recklessly and putting other people and their property at risk while she is trying to drive away deliberately from the police officer. If she is not driving recklessly (ie: just fleeing), she wouldn’t be technically guilty of violating Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC.
Similarly, the peace officer must make it clear that they are trying to pull over Janet. In either marked or an unmarked car, a police officer must have their lights on and possibly a siren in order to help get her attention.
Lastly, Janet must be deliberately trying to evade the peace officer! If it is not safe for her to pull over, she is not trying to evade the peace officer. She is simply waiting to pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. For example, she is halfway through turning at a stoplight and a police officer pulls into the lane behind her with its lights on. Well, she can’t stop safely in the middle of an intersection, so she completes the turn and then pulls over as soon as she is out of everyone’s way.
What can I do about this violation?
This is a serious violation, all things considered. It can either be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony (as the name suggests). If it is charged as a misdemeanor, you can spend up to 12 months in a prison in your county and be charged a fine of up to $1, 000.
If the court decides that it is a felony, you can spend anywhere from 1.5 years to 3 years in state prison. You can also be charged up to $10, 000. This crime is much more “serious” because you are deliberately endangering other people, including the peace officer that is trying to pull you over.
In either case, any time you are convicted as being guilty of violating Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC, your license is suspended. The amount of time will often depend on how experienced a driver you are, and other tickets or violations you have on your record. Sometimes the car used to evade the peace officer is also impounded for up to 30 days, along with the fees associated with it.
In either situation, you should plead guilty (assuming you are guilty, of course!) and accept the punishment that is given to you. If you are not guilty, however, you can fight it in court with proper legal representation.
Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections
Sometimes there are other violations added to a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation. They can include:
- Vehicle Code 2800.1VC: This violation implies that Janet is only evading the peace officer. In this case, she isn’t intentionally putting other drivers or property at risk.
- Vehicle Code 2800.3 VC: In this case, Janet’s deliberate evasion of the peace officer would have to directly cause an injury or death of someone. It can be someone in her car, a passer-by, or even the peace officer.
- Vehicle Code 23103 VC: This violation relates only to Janet’s act of reckless and/or dangerous driving. This is used if there is no connection to her evasion and reckless driving.
Sometimes, these are added to a violation, and sometimes one or more of these can be applied to your driver’s record in place of Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC if they are thought to be more accurate to the situation.
Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?
Yes, this particular ticket violation is eligible for traffic school since it is a moving violation. Exceptions include that you are driving a commercial vehicle, or that you’ve attended traffic school within the past 18 months of this violation.
You’ll want to make sure that you choose an accredited traffic school, of course, such as MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL. If you do so, your attendance can help mask your violation and can even remove points from your driving record, too.
In a lot of cases, traffic school is the right choice for those who have received a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation. If you are curious to learn more or want to ask questions regarding your violation or your ticket, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out however we can.
How can I avoid a citation for a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation?
Either as a misdemeanor or a felony charge, receiving a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation is certainly something that you’ll want to avoid, as the punishments are very severe. Here are some tips on how to help you do just that!
Firstly, you’ll want to be as careful and as attentive as possible on the road. In Janet’s case, she was tired and distracted from work. It would have been better for her to make sure that she made sure she was okay on the road before she started out. As well, don’t make illegal lane changes, run red lights, or do anything else illegal while driving! This is a great first step at making sure you don’t ever need to be pulled over by a police officer.
However, sometimes peace officers can pull even the best driver over for reasons that are unclear to them. If there is a marked or unmarked car behind you with its lights on, make sure that you pull over as soon as you can do it safely. A peace officer is always the enforcer of the law, so disobeying them and driving away deliberately — and putting some at risk — is never, ever going to be the better choice. Even if you are scared to be pulled over (which is normal), it’s still a better alternative to getting a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC violation!
Another thing to keep in mind just to be extra sure that you don’t receive this violation is to pull over whenever you see a peace officer with its lights on behind you. Even if you think it’s for someone else entirely, pull over just to be sure. If it is for someone else, or they’re on their way to an emergency, they’ll continue past you and get to where you want to go. If it is you, they will stop behind you! It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Keep in mind: being guilty of a Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC means that you have to know that you are deliberately evading a peace officer and putting other people at risk in doing so. If you aren’t aware you are fleeing, or you aren’t putting other people at risk in doing it, you aren’t guilty of the violation.