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Evading Police

It is an offence to continue to drive a motor vehicle after being given a direction by a Police Officer to stop.[1] Evading Police means that you have wilfully refused to stop and continue to operate a vehicle despite being under Police direction.

A direction to stop can be lawfully provided by a Police Officer or Protective Services Officer who is on duty at the time.[2] Such direction should indicate clearly that the driver must stop the vehicle and can be provided by:

  • Hand signals;
  • Display of a sign;
  • Flashing of Police car headlights;
  • Use of Red and Blue flashing lights on a Police car; or
  • The sounding of an alarm, siren or other warning device emitted from a Police car.[3]

It is also considered lawful for Police to provide a verbal director to stop your motor vehicle.

Elements

The Police are required to establish the following elements to prove the charge of evading Police:

  1. That you were provided with a direction to stop;
  2. That direction was provided by a Police officer (or Protective Services Officer); and
  3. You knew that you had been provided with a direction to stop; or
  4. You ought to have reasonably known that you were provided with a direction to stop.[4]

If you engage in dangerous or negligent driving whilst being pursued by police, you could be charged with ‘Dangerous or Negligent Driving while pursued by Police’, which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.[5]

Possible Penalty for Evading Police

For a first offence, the maximum penalty for ‘Evading Police’ is 60 penalty units (approx.$9,700) and / or 6 months imprisonment.[6] If you are found guilty, the Court will also order cancellation of your licence and disqualification from diving for a period of 6 months.[7] For a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty doubles to 120 penalty units and / or 12 months imprisonment.[8] The Court will also order cancellation of your licence and disqualification from diving for a period of 12 months.[9]

Failing to stop vehicle after Police instruction is also a prescribed Category 1 Offence under Victoria’s Hoon Driving Laws and the Court may make an order to seize, immobilize or impound your vehicle.

However, if you are found guilty of the offence, the Magistrate or Judge will consider a variety of circumstances when determining an appropriate sentence.

Defences for Evading Police

It will be a defence to the charge if you can establish that the direction provided by the Police Officer was not clear or was in fact unlawful.

It is also a defence if you stopped your vehicle as soon as practicable after being provided with a direction to stop.[10] For example, you continued driving until you found a safe place to pull over.

If you have been charged with a driving offence then contact Leanne Warren today to discuss your defence. First 30 minute consultation is free of charge: 03 9670 6066 / info@leannewarren.com.au

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[1] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A.
[2] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(5)
[3] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(5).
[4] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(1).
[5] Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) s 319AA.
[6] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(1).
[7] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(3)(a)(b).
[8] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(1).
[9] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(4)(a)(b).
[10] Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) s 64A(2).

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