Sometimes, a benign misunderstanding or a wrongful accusation can quickly escalate into an unjust situation with serious consequences. Whether you are guilty of what you’re being charged with by an officer or not, it is important that you act rationally and in accordance with the law. This means that it is of utmost importance not to prevent law enforcement officers in their attempts to execute a search warrant, transport, or arrest a person.
In order to help you avoid hefty fines and imprisonment, this blog post clarifies what resisting arrest means under Texas penal code, what the differences between resisting and evading arrest are, and what respective penalties are.
What Does Resisting Arrest Mean Under Texas Penal Code?
According to Section 38.03 of the Texas Penal Code, a person can be found guilty of resisting charges if they in any way obstruct law enforcement in searching, transporting, or arresting them or another person.
However prone you may feel to argue for yourself or a person you think is being wrongfully charged, it is a top priority to remain calm and not use violence. Resisting arrest is considered to be a grave charge in Texas, the one that makes a person seem guilty of the underlying crime even when they are innocent.
Difference Between Resisting Arrest and Evading Arrest
Another important thing to know is that Texas law differentiates between crimes of resisting arrest and evading arrest. It is of the essence to know the difference because certain legal defenses may be applicable to one, but not the other. Due to this, it is crucial to have access to experienced attorney’s advice, since it can make a significant difference.
The main difference between resisting and evading arrest or detention is the fact that resisting arrest means that a charged person has used force against the law enforcement officer. Evasion of the arrest or detention does not necessarily include the use of force.
What also differentiates the two charges is related to the lawfulness of the arrest. This means that a person can be charged with a crime even if the arrest they are resisting is unlawful. In case of evasion of arrest and detention, the underlying arrest has to be lawful.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas
Penalties for resisting arrest in Texas depend on the circumstances of the arrest. The most common penalties for Class A misdemeanor include up to one year of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $4,000. In case of a third-degree felony, a person can be incarcerated for between 2 and 10 years, and pay a fine of up to $10,000.
Is resisting arrest a felony in TX?
While resisting arrest is usually considered to be a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law for first-time offenders, the charge will commonly be upgraded to a third-degree felony if a deadly weapon is used by a person that is being arrested. It is also considered to be a felony if a person has been previously convicted.
Call us for Free Consultations
If you or a loved one is found guilty of committing a crime such as resisting arrest, reach out to us for initial free consultations at (512) 614-4412. By hiring Benjamin Gergen, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to thoroughly examine each aspect of your arrest and the circumstances that lead up to it and to provide you with the best possible defense.
Blog posts and resources provide researched information and do not represent legal advise or official opinion from Ben Gergen.