Outlining Arizona’s Unlawful Flight Laws

Failing to stop after being requested to by a police officer or fleeing from police form part of Arizona’s unlawful flight laws.

These offenses vary in seriousness. You can be charged with a Class 5 felony in certain circumstances.

Failure to stop for a police officer or another law enforcement vehicle constitutes a crime under A.R.S. 28-1595. The statute says a driver who knowingly fails or refuses to stop after receiving a “visual or audible signal or instruction” by a police officer or other traffic enforcement official faces a class 2 misdemeanor.

unlawful flight laws
Arizona’s unlawful flight laws

The driver must give an officer the following information on request:

  1. His or her full name.
  2. The driver’s date of birth.
  3. The driver’s residential address.
  4. A brief physical description including sex, weight, eye and hair color, and height.
  5. The driver’s signature.

Drivers who attempt to flee from police officers face being charged with a class 5 felony under Arizona’s unlawful flight laws. A felony charge may be brought if the driver seeks to outrun or outmaneuver any law enforcement vehicle with official markings.

A prosecutor must prove you intended to flee the stop rather than making a mistake or not realizing you were asked to pull over. The state needs to show a driver knew a law enforcement officer signaled them to pull over, and then failed to do so.

The prosecution must prove that the driver willfully attempted to escape police to prove unlawful flight took place. The state must also provide evidence that the vehicle driven by police was officially marked.

What is the Definition of Unlawful Flight in Arizona?

Under Arizona statute 28-622.01, a driver commits unlawful flight when he or she “willfully flees or attempts to elude a pursuing official law enforcement vehicle” properly marked as a law enforcement vehicle.

Drivers are not required to stop immediately if it’s dangerous to do so. They can wait to pull into a safe place for a highway patrol or police officer. If it’s dangerous to stop on the highway, they have a right to drive to a safe place to stop.

In some cases, drivers may fail to notice a police officer is trying to pull them over. This is a legitimate defense to the felony although it can be hard to prove.

Given that a class 5 felony can land you in prison for two years facing fines of up to $150,000, you should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight these charges. Please call the Garcia Law Firm at (602) 340-1999.