What if you run from a traffic stop in Arizona?

For most people, seeing the flashing lights of a police car come on behind them means it is time to look for a safe place to pull over. They do it immediately.

But what if you decide not to stop? If they do eventually catch you, what type of ramifications could you face?

Under Arizona law, failure to stop is a class 2 misdemeanor. You can face those charges on top of the charges that initiated the traffic stop to begin with.

One thing to keep in mind is that you must “knowingly fail or refuse” to stop. If you simply did not hear the siren because you had your music up too loud, or if you never saw the flashing lights and did not think you were being pulled over, that’s a much different scenario than if you knew you should stop and refused to do so. If you didn’t take action knowingly, you could fight the misdemeanor charge.

You may find other issues with the contention that you “ran” from the police in the first place. Maybe it was a busy road, for example, and you didn’t feel safe pulling over right away. You continued for a short distance not so that you could evade the police, but so that you could find a safe place to pull over. Is that really a crime? You may even argue that you were doing it for the officer’s safety as well as your own.

If you get arrested and accused of something as serious as fleeing from the police and refusing to stop, it is critical for you to understand your legal options.