Your Legal
For Life

Eluding a police officer is a serious offense in Iowa

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense, OWI/DUI |

Iowa has increased the penalties for eluding police officers in an effort to improve road safety and deter reckless behavior.

The new law makes it a felony if the offender exceeds the speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour during the pursuit. This change reflects a rising concern over the dangers of high-speed chases and the need to hold offenders accountable for their actions.

Felony charges

As of July 2023, attempting to avoid an encounter with law enforcement by excessively speeding is a felony, which means the consequences of a conviction are worse. In the past, this offense was an aggravated misdemeanor. Felony charges may result in longer jail sentences, higher fines and a more serious criminal record. The harsher punishments aim to prevent people from engaging in dangerous behavior that can put themselves and others at risk on the road.

OWI cases

The new law might impact cases involving other offenses, such as driving while intoxicated. For example, people convicted of OWI in Iowa already face serious penalties. A first-time OWI can result in up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,250, and a 180-day driver’s license suspension. An ignition interlock device may be necessary to reinstate driving privileges.

The severity of the penalties increases with the number of offenses and the level of intoxication. Attempting to avoid a traffic stop or evade the police by speeding more than 25 mph over the limit could turn a misdemeanor OWI into a felony case, possibly resulting in longer jail or probation terms.

It is important for Iowans to know the law, be aware of their rights and take steps to protect themselves and others on the road.