A motorcyclist is likely going to be charged with several offenses after allegedly fleeing from a traffic stop. The incident could lead to especially steep charges if there was evidence that the motorcyclist was driving under the influence (DUI).
Motorcycle Flees Traffic Stop, Causes Crash
The incident apparently happened in the overnight hours of June 23-24, 2019.
According to the initial news report of the incident, police pulled over a motorcycle on Roosevelt Boulevard near the intersection of North Mascher Street. Police claim that the traffic stop was initiated because the driver had gone through several red lights.
At some point during the traffic stop, though, the motorcycle sped off. However, he crashed into two cars that were stopped at a light.
Both the driver and his passenger went to the hospital with multiple injuries, though they do not appear to be life-threatening.
An interesting aspect of the situation is comparing the potential fallouts based on whether there is evidence of a DUI or not.
Possible Repercussions, Without a DUI
If the motorcycle driver was not under the influence, he would almost certainly be held civilly liable for the costs of the crash, and would likely face a criminal charge of fleeing the police. This offense is a second-degree misdemeanor.
A DUI Drastically Increases the Potential Penalties
If police did find evidence that the motorcyclist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, though, the potential penalties increase dramatically.
Not only would the driver still face civil liability for the crash, a ticket for running the red lights, and a criminal charge for evading police, he would also face the DUI charge, which is a serious offense that carries fines, potential jail time, and a hefty license suspension. There are also all of the collateral consequences of having a DUI on his criminal record, like potential employment problems.
Additionally, the criminal allegation of fleeing the police would turn from a second-degree misdemeanor into a third-degree felony if there is an accompanying DUI allegation. This would increase the potential penalties from up to two years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines into a jail stint of up to seven years and up to $15,000 in fines.
Potentially even worse, if the crash caused a “serious bodily injury” it could lead to a criminal charge under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3735.1 for aggravated assault while DUI. Importantly for this particular case, the person suffering the “serious bodily injury” does not necessarily have to be someone in the car that was hit – if the motorcyclist's passenger was seriously hurt, that could be enough for prosecutors to pursue an aggravated DUI assault charge.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a criminal defense lawyer who legally represents the accused in and near the city of Philadelphia. If you have been accused of DUI in the area, call his law office at (215) 535-5353 or contact him online.