Since mid-March, Chicago law enforcement has adamantly enforced social distancing rules. These rules include wearing face coverings in public, maintaining a six-foot distance from others, and avoiding congregating in large groups. Failure to comply can result in citations and arrests. If an individual decides to flee from or obstruct a police officer who is trying to enforce these rules, it could result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. As Memorial Day approaches, it’s likely law enforcement will be on high alert for folks ignoring social distancing regulations or fleeing police officers on patrol.
If you or someone you know is arrested for or charged with fleeing a police officer, contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
Fleeing a Peace Officer
Flee or Attempt to Elude Peace Officer (625-5/11-204) involves a motor vehicle. If you’re in your car and a peace office (in a police uniform) signals you to stop the car and you do not comply, you’re violating ILS 625-5/11-204. Signaling is pretty vague and could be as simple as a wave or as obvious as flashing red and blue lights.
This can result in a Class A misdemeanor, which includes up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. For this particular infraction, your license will also be revoked for at least six months. On the second (or any additional) offense, it becomes a Class 4 Felony and your license could disappear for one year.
Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer
Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer (720-5/31-1) involves preventing an officer (or firefighter or correctional institution employee) from doing their job. This can include anything from running away from an officer trying to make an arrest to making it difficult for the officer to cuff you.
Aside from resulting in a Class A misdemeanor charge, violators of this statute automatically receive either 100 hours of community service or 48 hours of jail time. If the officer (or firefighter or correctional institution employee) is injured as a result, you’re looking at Class 4 felony charges. This means one to three years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines.
Obstructing Identification (720-5/31-4.5) is another tactic a person might use to evade arrest or a fine. If you give a false name, address, or birth date to an officer who is in the process of arresting you or interviewing you as a witness, you could face Class A misdemeanor charges.
Eluding an officer, giving false personal information, and intervening during an arrest could all result in Class A misdemeanor charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with any of these infractions, for the first time or the tenth time, contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.