cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

Cedar Rapids OWI and Criminal Lawyer: What is Eluding?

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC

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Eluding in Iowa has a specific criminal meaning.

To “willfully fail[] to bring [a] motor vehicle to a stop”  or otherwise elude or attempt to elude “a marked official law enforcement vehicle driven by a uniformed peace officer after being given a visual and audible signal to stop” is a criminal offense in Iowa. It is called eluding. Iowa Code § 321.279.

The Iowa model criminal jury instructions leave it to the jury’s imagination what to “otherwise elude” means, but the common everyday dictionary definition of “elude” provides some guidance:

Meriam-Webster defines “elude” as to “evade” or “avoid capture.”


Law enforcement officers are defined as the following:

Sheriffs and their regular deputies who are subject to mandated law enforcement training.
Marshals and police officers of cities.
Peace officer members of the department of public safety as defined in chapter 80 (authorizing designees and defining duties of peace officers)
Parole officers acting pursuant to section 906.2 (authorizing parole officers and defining duties)
Probation officers acting pursuant to section 602.7202, subsection 4, and section 907.2 (authorizing probation officers and defining duties).
Special security officers employed by board of regents institutions as set forth
Conservation officers as authorized by section 456A.13 (authorizing conservation officers).
Such employees of the department of transportation as are designated “peace officers” by resolution of the department under section 321.477.

Law enforcement vehicles may park or stand on the highway where otherwise illegal to do so and exceed the posted speed limit and disobey traffic control devices if siren and emergency top lights are activated (except when pursuing speeders). This is all true, of course, if officers give due regard for safety and slow at intersections before disobeying traffic control devices.

Simple eluding is a serious misdemeanor. Eluding is an aggravated misdemeanor if when eluding the driver exceeds the posted speed limit by 25 mph or more. Eluding is a felony if the driver exceeds the posted speed limit by 25 mph or more and any of the following occurs: (1) the driver is also participating in a public offense which is a felony; (2) the driver is committing an offense in violation of Iowa Code § 321J.2 or 124.401; (3) the defendant’s actions cause a bodily injury to someone other than the driver. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for vehicular homicide in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, or other Iowa community or county, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for an initial consultation and let us help you find your best options in this legal crisis.


However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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Cut to the Chase. Eluding ranges from a serious misdemeanor to a felony offense depending on the factual circumstances. Exceeding the posted speed limit can enhance eluding to an aggravated misdemeanor. If tied to an accusation of a felony, drunk driving, or drug offense, eluding itself can be considered an additional felony. Let us help you chart your way back to life before legal crisis. Contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889.