Missouri SB 901 Proposes Harsher Punishments for Fleeing Police

Missouri SB 901 | Valentine's Law

Missouri legislators have introduced Senate Bill 901, which would increase punishments for acts of aggravated fleeing. Currently, attempting to drive away from Missouri law enforcement is a minor offense, legally classified as a misdemeanor. Missouri SB 901 would escalate the crime to a felony, with even harsher punishments if people were injured as a result of fleeing. The bill has been nicknamed “Valentine’s Law,” as an homage to St. Louis County Detective Antonio Valentine, who died in a fatal car accident during a pursuit.

What Is Aggravated Fleeing?

Aggravated fleeing is the act of speeding away from a law enforcement officer. This can happen at a routine traffic stop or when an officer flags a motorist to pull over. Some feel that current punishment for aggravated fleeing in Missouri is too light, which encourages some drivers to attempt it.

What Is the Current Punishment for Aggravated Fleeing in Missouri?

The current punishment for aggravated fleeing from law enforcement is defined in Missouri Revised Statute 575.150. The crime is presently classified as a Class A misdemeanor, unless the person fleeing creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to any person, in which case it is a Class E felony.

What Would Missouri SB 901 Change?

The proposed state bill would increase the punishment, as well as implement additional layers, depending on if there were personal injury victims or wrongful death. If SB 901 is signed into law, then the act of aggravated fleeing would be considered a Class D felony. If the fleeing resulted in the physical injury of another, then it would be elevated to a Class B felony. Lastly, if the fleeing caused the death of another, then it would be considered a Class A felony.

What Is the Current Status of Valentine’s Law/Missouri SB 901?

Missouri SB 901 was passed by the state senate’s Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee on February 21, 2024. It is expected to achieve final passage from both chambers of the Missouri State Legislature. After that, it will be up to Governor Mike Parson to sign the bill into law.

The bill is very popular among Missouri law enforcement officers, particularly in St. Louis County, where Detective Valentine served. According to government officials, there were 2,700 incidents of aggravated fleeing in 2023. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle believe that increasing the punishment for Missouri aggravated fleeing will be a deterrent that would prevent many people from attempting to elude police and highway patrol officers.

Injured by a Driver Fleeing from Law Enforcement?

In addition to being illegal, aggravated fleeing is dangerous to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you or a member of your family were injured by a driver attempting to flee from the police, then contact the Missouri injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group for immediate assistance.

You can reach Patterson Legal Group by phone at (816) 920-0000 and online through our secure contact form or connecting with our LiveChat representatives. Patterson Legal Group has helped injury victims throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma receive maximum settlements from insurance companies. Our experienced and accomplished trial lawyers have recovered more than $250-million in settlements for thousands of injury victims over the last 25 years. To get the compensation and service that you deserve, contact us today.

The information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship nor does viewing this material constitute an attorney-client relationship.