MIAMI, FL (November 6, 2019) writes that police arrested two individuals in Northwest Miami-Dade following an early morning police chase that led officers across the county. The incident began in Coconut Creek at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 6, 2019. A 19-year-old told police that one of the suspects flashed a gun at him before driving away in a stolen car.

Miami-Dade police aided in the pursuit of the vehicle when it traveled into the county. Police from Pembrook Pines also were involved in the chase as the vehicle passed through their jurisdiction. The suspects were finally caught in Miami-Dade County. The first was arrested at Northwest 74th Street close to 18th Avenue. The other was arrested at 72nd Street. Both of the subjects are now facing charges in Miami-Dade County for fleeing and eluding police. Additional charges will likely be filed in Broward County, where the chase began.

Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement Charges in Florida

In Florida, Fleeing and Eluding the police is a crime that a driver commits when they fail to stop or to remain stopped when they are ordered to do so by an authorized police or law enforcement officer. This crime carries the possibility of prison time and the mandatory revocation of the person’s driver’s license.

In order to convict a person of Fleeing and Eluding the prosecutor must prove that the driver was operating a vehicle on a highway or street in Florida, that a law enforcement officer ordered that person to stop, and that the defendant knew that the police had ordered him or her to stop and yet either chose not to stop at all, or stopped, and then willfully fled in order to elude the officer.

The crime of fleeing or eluding an officer is a third-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to five years in prison or up to five years on probation and up to a $5,000 fine. The person will also lose their driver’s license for between one and five years.

There are also aggravated forms of this offense, which will lead to harsher penalties.

The charges can be upgraded if the police used sirens and lights, and the suspect fled driving recklessly or at high speeds. In this case, the crime becomes a second-degree felony with a possible sentence of up to fifteen years in prison or on probation, a $10,000 fine, and a mandatory revocation of the person’s driver’s license for between one and five years.

If a driver fleeing an officer who is using sirens and lights, attempts to flee the scene, drives recklessly, or at a high rate of speed and then causes an injury or death in the process, the crime is upgraded further. In these cases, the crime is classified as a first-degree felony with a possible maximum sentence of 30 years. In this scenario, the court must sentence the individual for a minimum of three years in prison.