A Gainesville Police Department officer was sitting in his vehicle when he heard a crash. The officer proceeded to the scene of the crash to investigate. When the officer arrived he witnessed a male attempting to help the front right passenger from the wrecked vehicle. The driver had failed to negotiate a curve in the road and skidded onto a median colliding with two small trees, four large clay pots, and a light pole. As the officer approached, the male left the scene on foot, running towards a wooded area. The officer requested backup and proceeded to chase the individual into the wooded area but ultimately lost sight of him. The officer called out several loud verbal commands to stop, but the individual continued to hide and flee.
At the scene of the crash, the passenger identified the individual as the driver of the vehicle. After several hours of searching, the search was determined to be unsuccessful and was called off. The passenger was the step-brother of the driver. During the investigation, the mother of the passenger arrived on scene and stated that her husband received a phone call from the driver that he was involved in a crash and wanted to be picked up. The officer checked his computer system and confirmed that the individual who fled was the individual named by the family members as the driver of the vehicle. Officers completed the crash report and filed a warrant affidavit for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and resisting an officer without violence.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to negotiate a plea deal with the State Attorney’s office. Originally they requested that the driver plead guilty and spend 30 days in jail, but we were able to reduce the charges to a withholding of adjudication on leaving the scene of an accident, with no jail time and minimal fines. The charges of resisting an officer without violence were dismissed as a result of this plea deal.