Eluding Police is described in section 46.2-817 of the Code of Virginia (Disregarding Signal by Law Enforcement Officer to Stop, Eluding Police). It is against the law to disregard any visible or audible signal by police to pull over or attempt to escape or elude police. It is an affirmative defense (a defense you have to prove at trial) that the person had a reasonable belief that they were being pursued to by non-law enforcement officers. For any violation of this statute the person’s driver’s license must also be suspended for a minimum of thirty days, up to one year.
Eluding is punished and classified depending on certain factors of danger and injury, as follows:
- Eluding on foot, or in a vehicle with no dangerous activity or injury to others, is punishable as a Class 2 Misdemeanor (up to six months in jail);
- Eluding in a vehicle in a manner that endangers a person OR interferes with or endangers the operation of the law enforcement vehicle is a Class 6 Felony (1 day to 5 years in prison);
- Eluding in a vehicle where a Law Enforcement Officer is killed in the pursuit is a Class 4 Felony (two years to ten years in prison).