Law by Law, Fleeing and Eluding

Evading a police officer might be a crime, but there is no need to escalate it to a felony. Some states describe it as a felony if the driver exceeds the speed limit by 20 miles an hour, but then, why not just write a speeding ticket? Some states describe it as a felony if the driver engages in dangerous maneuvers, but then, why not just write a reckless driving ticket? Some states describe it as a felony if the driver damages property during the pursuit, but we already have laws against willful distruction of property. Some states call it a felony just because they like putting people in jail. Remember, many people are afraid of the police, and naturally run away. As long as the police kill unarmed citizens who aren't resisting, and then get suspended with pay for a few weeks until they are cleared of all wrong doing, Americans have every right to be afraid. Eluding shouldn't even be a crime, it's just survival, but if it remains a crime, it should be civil, or at most a misdemeanor.

Illinois is pink, because eluding only becomes a felony on the third offense, but on the first and second offense, (here we go again), the license is suspended. There is also a fine, and you probably have to drive to work to make money to pay the fine, but nobody cares about that. A suspended license is better than a felony I suppose, so I give a nod to Illinois for there efforts, but a simple misdemeanor is really what we're looking for.

Idaho calls it a misdemeanor, even if it happens more than once, but there goes your license, so I can't quite call it green. Same for New Hampshire, North Carolina, and many other states. I'm really sick of the state yanking a person's license for anything other than eggregious driving; all that does is send poor black people to jail.

In Alaska it's just points, civil, I like that, but it's a lot of points, almost loss of license, so again, not green.

Oregon is a documented example of a state where eluding was a misdemeanor in 1989, but was upgraded to a felony in the late 90's. Vermont just made a similar change, and the sad thing is, these legislatures think they are doing the right thing. They have no idea they are fostering felony inflation, part of the mass incarceration machine.

map of states where fleeing and eluding is not a felony

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Please send along any corrections or new information. I am not always up to date on all the laws in all 50 states.

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