Washington D.C. criminal defense attorneys know that rarely is a good idea to flee from police.
Not only are you probably going to get caught, but when you do, your D.C. criminal defense is going to likely include fleeing or resisting charges - in addition to whatever the charge was that you were trying to get out of in the first place.
What's more, in some cases, fleeing almost guarantees criminal charges, whereas you may have actually faced nothing had you simply stopped.
Take for example a recent case of a jaywalker who is now facing a host of D.C. weapons charges.
According to The Washington Post, police officers noted three men and a woman jaywalking. Now you may be aware of some of the jaywalking stings that Metropolitan Police have been conducting. In some cases, police will issue a warning. In others, they write a $20 citation. In either case, you'll probably get a lecture and be sent on your way.
However, fleeing is going to grab their attention - and then they're likely to grab you.
That's what happened to the 21-year-old in this case. He was among four who were reportedly jaywalking around 4 p.m. on a Wednesday.
An officer reportedly tried to stop them, presumably to give them a lecture about crossing the street at an appropriate juncture. But the 21-year-old took off running.
At the time when police first stopped him, he had a red backpack slung over his shoulder.
When police finally caught up to him, the backpack was gone. Sly investigators that they were, they were able to retrace the jaywalker's steps, finding the backpack in a trash can that sat near a residential driveway. Nearby, two children were playing.
Inside that backpack, officers found a firearm.
He is now facing weapons charges - in addition to fleeing. To make matters worse, he is also facing robbery and assault charges, for which he is scheduled to appear in court in mid-June.
According to D.C. Criminal Code 22-4503, simple possession of a firearm can be illegal in D.C. if you are a convicted felon, are a drug addict, have been convicted of certain kinds of misdemeanors (such as domestic violence), have been previously convicted of a firearms charge or if you currently have a civil protection order against you.
It's also against the law for you to knowingly provide a gun to a person in any one of these categories. Penalties range from a minimum mandatory of one year in prison all the way up to 10 years and/or a fine of $15,000.
This is not to say that some individuals don't get away with it when they do flee - but it's rare.
The better option if you are stopped by police is to actually stop, be courteous and respectful and remember that you don't have to tell them anything. In fact, you shouldn't. The fact is, anything you do say may be used against you in court.
Cooperation doesn't mean you have to tell them what they want to know.
And in case you are arrested, make sure your first call is to an experienced D.C. criminal defense attorney.