Trying to evade an officer is a common crime in Virginia. Often people do not think that they have to stop when they receive a signal. If the time between the signal-giving officer and the person stopped becomes long, officers can charge a person with fleeing.
It can be a situation where the person tries to find the right place to stop, or when it is dark, especially at night, they want to pull to the side of the road. When the time and mileage get long, officials can accuse the driver of trying to evade Fairfax.
The other scenario for the responsible AEO is in an unmarked car. The car would still have blue lights to indicate what was going on, but the officer can turn on sirens even if they are in the unmarked cars.
A person leaving the highway after seeing a police officer at high speed is not necessarily trying to evade an officer. Some people will carry on because they think that the person behind them is a law enforcement officer or even a member of the public, but that does not happen and opens the door to trouble.
The triggering factor in the bylaws is when a driver receives a visible or audible signal to stop. If a person does not receive a signal from law enforcement, they are not obliged to stop. This could become problematic if they do not stop because they receive a warning that an officer is slowing down their speed or they are leaving the highway. There could have been a situation where the person was accused of trying to evade Fairfax.
If you do not receive a signal, light or siren, it is okay to take the exit and leave the scene. The person just needs to find a safe place and stop to show the officer that they are trying to comply. If they keep driving until they find the right place to stop, this could be misinterpreted. If a long time is taken for the person to “find the safe places” and find them, officials may begin to think that the person is “trying to evade.”
Law enforcement agencies are looking for factors that indicate evasion. The officer determines whether the person is traveling too fast to move away from them, or vice versa, driving too slowly to avoid the officer. When a person tries to evade a police officer by turning onto another road or trying to move away or escape from an officer’s field of vision, he or she “tries” to evade. Law enforcement officials understand that sometimes it takes a little time for a person to jump to the side, step on the shoulder of the road, switch to another side, or find a well-lit area to stop. If that time gets longer, there may be a suspicion that they are trying to elude Fairfax. If you don’t get up and you’re not at the top of your game, you might not be there.