What Happens If I Run From the Police in Massachusetts?

What Happens If I Run From the Police in Massachusetts?

What can happen if you run from the police in Massachusetts? For many people, their first instinct is to flee from police, even when they have not committed a crime. It is important to understand what happens when you refuse to surrender willingly to police officers in Massachusetts. After learning more about your situation, a legal expert can help you work toward a favorable, justified outcome.

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Massachusetts

 If you get into a traffic collision and you think you might have caused injuries or property damage, you cannot flee the scene of the collision. Doing so may result in a hit-and-run charge, which is a serious crime. If you have damaged someone’s property, you face up to six months in prison, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.

If you have caused injuries or deaths, you face between six months and two years in prison, significant fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license for one year. Note that giving false information at the scene of a collision may also make you guilty of a hit-and-run.

Resisting Arrest

 If the police are attempting to detain or arrest you, you cannot flee. Doing so in Massachusetts will result in a charge of Resisting Arrest. There are a number of different actions you can take that could be classified as Resisting Arrest. For example, you may be charged with Resisting Arrest if you attempt to prevent the police from arresting another person.

Fleeing from the police in a motor vehicle falls under Resisting Arrest because you are taking an action that creates a significant risk to not only the police officer(s) but also innocent bystanders. If you act in a violent manner or make threats against a police officer, you may also be charged with Resisting Arrest.

If found guilty, you may face a fine of up to $500, jail time of up to two and a half years, or both.

Failure to Submit to a Police Officer

If you refuse to stop when a police officer is directing you to pull over or come to a halt, you may be charged with Failure to Submit to a Police Officer. The punishment for this crime is fairly light and involves a fine of only $100.

Reckless Driving

If you choose to flee from a police officer in your motor vehicle and you begin to drive in an unsafe manner, you may also be charged with Reckless Driving. Unsafe lane changes, excessive speeds, and other similar offenses all fall under this category. This is a misdemeanor charge with a maximum jail sentence of two-and-a-half years, plus fines.

The Importance of Getting Legal Help

If you have been charged with any of the above crimes, it is important to seek help from a legal expert as soon as possible. A qualified attorney can use a number of tactics to help reduce your penalties. For example, an attorney may be able to reduce your charge from resisting arrest to failure to submit to a police officer.

In addition, it is important to understand that the laws surrounding police arrests have changed in Massachusetts. Simply running away from the police may no longer be enough to automatically give the authorities justification to arrest you. In addition, police cannot use excessive force when arresting you. If they do, charges of resisting arrest may be dropped. Reach out to the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty today, and we will strive for the best possible outcome. 413-732-8356