Failure to Stop for Blue Lights

Failure to Stop for Blue Lights in South Carolina

We all know that you can’t run from police when they activate their blue lights or siren in a traffic stop.  But, what if you wait until you reach a safe place to pull over, or if you had a medical issue? Can that be failure to stop for blue lights?

Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC. Today we’re talking about failure to stop for blue lights cases.

The Law

To establish FTSBL the state must prove that:

  • Absent mitigating circumstances;
  • You were driving a motor vehicle on a road; and
  • That you were signaled to stop by a law enforcement vehicle by a siren or flashing light; and
  • That you did not stop.

So let’s talk about what mitigating circumstances means and how that can help in your case.

Mitigating circumstances means that you had a legally valid reason for not stopping.  Some of the factors that can apply are:

  • Actual road/roadside conditions;
  • Driver safety;
  • Passenger safety
  • Or any other circumstances that are reasonable.

Road conditions could mean that you waited for a safe place to stop, such as turning off at the first driveway or side street.

  • Good attorneys know that the dash cam video can be your best defense b/c it will show that you didn’t speed up or try to avoid police. It can also show the road conditions such as no shoulder on the side of the road where you could stop.
  • Other mitigating circumstances can be a medical condition such as suffering a seizure.
    • I’ve had a case where my client hit a concrete wall, blew out their tire and was being followed by police about 2 miles doing about 25 mph before they stopped.
    • They were charged with DUI and FTSBL.
    • They provided a breath sample that came back at 0.00 and a urine test that was negative for any drugs in their system.
    • Despite those test results the prosecutor’s first response was for my client to plead guilty.
    • After assembling my client’s medical records and educating the prosecutor on the types of seizure that can occur with epilepsy the case was dismissed after several months of discussions.
    • The lesson here is that it’s important that you show the mitigating circumstance, you can’t just make the claim without showing why it’s legally valid.

Charleston, SC Criminal Defense Attorney

So, if have been charged with FTSBL and want to discuss your options, please call me at (843) 530-7813.  I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.

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