An Illinois man was recently charged with several potential felonies for attempting to elude police officers and causing damage to government property, according to an article by The Pantagraph.
This incident occurred in Shelby County on March 14. That is when the Illinois man allegedly drove a vehicle upward of 90 to 100 miles per hour, attempting to elude police officers in pursuit. In the process, the Illinois man allegedly caused $500 to $10,000 in damage to a police car.
While this Illinois man awaits the next steps in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes that govern fleeing or eluding police and criminal damage to government property.
Fleeing or Eluding Police Officers in Illinois
625 ILCS 5/11-204 supplies the Illinois laws against fleeing or eluding police officers. Once a police officer gives a driver a visual or audible signal to stop or pull over, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally:
- Fail or refuse to obey the officer’s command;
- Increase the vehicle’s speed;
- Turn off the vehicle’s lights; or
- Attempt to flee or elude the officer in any other manner.
Any person who violates Section 11-204 will likely face Class A misdemeanor charges on the first or second offense. Upon conviction, the penalties can include a maximum of 364 days in jail and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
If a person violates Section 11-204 for a third or subsequent time, however, the applicable charge is likely a Class 4 felony. At that level, the penalties for a conviction can include one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
Moreover, any person who attempts to flee or elude police can also face a period of driver’s license suspension. Although the suspension period can vary, it often ranges between six and 12 months.
Criminal Damage to Government Property in Illinois
720 ILCS 5/21-1.01 establishes the Illinois laws against criminal damage to government property. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly:
- Damage any government property without the State’s consent;
- Use fire or explosive to damage any government property without the State’s consent;
- Start a fire on government property without the State’s consent; or
- Deposit on government land or in a government building any stink bomb or similarly offensive device without the State’s consent.
The penalties for criminal damage to government property vary based on the amount of damage in question. If the offender causes:
- No more than $500 in damage — It is a Class 4 felony that carries the possibility of one to three years prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines;
- Between $500 and $10,000 in damage — It is a Class 3 felony that carries the possibility of two to five years prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines;
- Between $10,000 and $100,000 in damage — It is a Class 2 felony that carries the possibility of three to seven years prison and criminal fines equal to the amount of damage inflicted; or
- More than $100,000 in damage — It is a Class 1 felony that carries the possibility of two to five years prison and criminal fines equal to the amount of damage inflicted.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.