In Okaloosa County, the first difference is the possible sentencing exposure which is the difference between a second degree felony and a third degree felony. The second degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The other difference is based on a factual distinction concerning the elements of the crime which basically means that Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding is the basic elements, plus the addition of the following aggravating circumstance: Lights and sirens were activated by Law Enforcement and that the suspect was driving recklessly, or with a high rate of speed with a disregard for the safety of others.
In my practice of criminal law in dealing with this particular category of crime, I have found little difference from a factual basis in the real world application – between the regular Fleeing and Eluding and Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, except that State Attorney’s prefer to file information that results in the more serious, second degree variety.
There is another type of Fleeing and Eluding charge and it is called Aggravated Fleeing and Attempting to Elude with Serious Bodily Injury or Death. It is a first degree felony, which means it carries the potential for prison time-up to thirty (30) years with a three (3) year minimum mandatory.
If you or a family member has been charged with Fleeing & Eluding, call me at (850) 362-6655 to discuss your situation – the call is free.