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Resisting Arrest & Eluding a South Carolina Police Officer

Resisting Arrest & Eluding a South Carolina Police Officer

Being pulled over means seeing flashing blue and red lights, hearing a loud siren going off behind you, or hearing an officer tell you to stop your vehicle. While many people cooperate and pull over, some do not out of fear of an arrest. 

Unfortunately, eluding an officer or resisting arrest is a criminal offense in every state throughout the country. According to South Carolina law, if any driver is in the process of being pulled over by a police officer or highway patrolman on the road and willfully attempts to elude the officer, he/she can be charged with eluding a police officer. 

The following are the three conditions that must be met in order to be convicted of eluding a police officer in South Carolina: 

  • A law enforcement official in a marked vehicle signals you to pull over (e.g., flashing lights, a siren, etc.) 

  • The officer reasonably believes the driver has violated a local or state law 

  • The driver intentionally attempts to evade the officer (e.g., increasing his/her speed, turning his/her lights off, exiting the vehicle and fleeing on foot, etc.) 

Resisting arrest also occurs when a person is in a process of being arrested and attempts to flee the police. This offense is defined as intentionally or knowingly attempting to avoid an arrest by a law enforcement official. 

Resisting arrest without violence means that the officer(s) is not harmed during the attempted arrest. In South Carolina, resisting arrest without violence is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail term of one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

Resisting arrest with violence means that the officer(s) is harmed during the attempted arrest. This offense is a felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to 10 years. 

Lastly, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon does not have to involve a physical injury suffered by an officer – so long as the person resisting arrest brandishes, displays, or otherwise uses a weapon to commit the offense. Resisting arrest with a deadly weapon is also a felony, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. 

If you have been arrested for evading an officer in Lexington or Columbia, call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC at (803) 359-3301 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. 


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