It’s always stressful to interact with law enforcement if they suspect you of a crime. If you’re being arrested, you may deal with unnecessary force by the arresting officer. It’s natural for you to react in an overwhelming situation. However, if you resist arrest in Texas you may be charged with a crime.
Resisting arrest is an offense in Texas with serious penalties. If convicted, you may have to face steep fines and possible incarceration. Don’t take this charge lightly. If you or someone you know has been charged with resisting arrest, it’s highly recommended that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney for Resisting an Officer in Austin, Texas
Texas has established strict laws for people who attempt to escape arrest. Resisting arrest in Texas is a misdemeanor and can be elevated to felony charges. You could be facing severe penalties such as expensive fines and possible jail or prison time. Start your defense today with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett.
Kevin Bennett is a skilled lawyer with years of experience in criminal defense. He can provide quality legal counsel and use his resources to help your case. In addition, Kevin Bennett handles every case personally. He will ensure that you have all your questions answered throughout the entire legal process.
Call now at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation today. Kevin Bennett defends those accused of crimes throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Tarrytown, Lago Vista and West Lake Hills.
Overview of Resisting Arrest in Texas
- Resisting Arrest Under Texas Law
- Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas
- Evading Arrest in Texas
- Statute of Limitations
- Additional Resources
Resisting Arrest under Texas Law
In some cases, an arrest can be overwhelming. Many people are arrested and don’t even fully understand their charges. However, if you resist arrest you could be criminally charged. Texas Penal Code § 38.03 states that it’s a crime if:
- A person intentionally obstructs a peace officer by using force; and
- The obstruction effects the officer’s arrest, search or transportation of the person or another.
The penalties for resisting arrest can be enhanced if you had a deadly weapon on you. A deadly weapon is a firearm or anything that was designed to inflict serious bodily injury or death. It’s not an admissible defense to state that the arrest was unlawful.
It’s important to notice that the wording for resisting arrest is vague. A person can be arrested for resisting an officer by “using force.” The term “by force” is subjective so it’s meaning can change based on a person’s point of view. What you may find forceful may not match up to what the court finds to be forceful.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Austin, Texas
Resisting an arrest can result in serious legal consequences. If you are convicted, you could face a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by:
- Up to 12 months in county jail; and
- A possible fine of up to $4,000.
If you have a deadly weapon on you, the penalties are enhanced to a third-degree felony. The penalty for a third-degree felony include:
- Up to 10 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Evading Arrest in Travis County, Texas
It’s also illegal to escape or avoid detention. Texas Penal Code § 38.04 states that evading arrest is a class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, if you have a criminal history the penalties are enhanced to a state jail felony.
A state jail felony is punishable by:
- Up to 24 months in state jail; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Evading arrest or detention can be elevated to a third-degree felony if you do any of the following:
- Operated a watercraft or vehicle to evade or attempt to flee from an arrest;
- Utilized a tire deflation device to slow down law enforcement while fleeing;
- During the commission of the crime, another person suffered serious bodily injury as a direct result of your attempt to flee.
A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If a person dies as a direct result from you evading arrest, then the crime will be a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by:
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Statute of Limitations for Resisting an Officer
Prosecutors only have a certain amount of time to file criminal charges against a person. This is referred to as a statute of limitations. If the District Attorney’s Office doesn’t file charges within the statute of limitations, the offender cannot be criminally charged.
The statute of limitations in Texas is decided by the degree of crime committed. If your crime was a misdemeanor, then the statute is two years. So, if you resist an officer or evade arrest without any aggravating factor you have a two-year statute.
Felonies in Texas have a three-year statute of limitations. If you do any of the following your statute of limitations is three years.
- Resist arrest or detention while possessing a deadly weapon;
- Evade arrest with a criminal history;
- Use a motor vehicle or watercraft to flee from arrest;
- Use a tire deflation device to flee from arrest;
- Cause injury to another because you attempted to flee from arrest; or
- Cause another’s death because you attempted to flee from arrest.
Texas Resisting Arrest Laws -Visit the official website for Texas legislature to find more information about the crime of resisting arrest. Access the statutes to learn more about the crime’s penalties, evading arrest, hindering prosecution and other related offenses.
Travis County Courts – Visit the official website for the Travis County courts and find more information about the legal process. Access the site to find your court date, information about felonies or misdemeanors, and contact information.
Lawyer for Resisting Detention in Travis County, Texas
If you or someone you know has resisted arrest, it’s imperative that you gain trusted legal representation. You could possibly be charged with resisting an officer and face serious penalties. Hiring a skilled attorney can significantly raise your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.
Call Kevin Bennett today for quality legal service. He is a lifetime Austin resident with a passion for defending others. Kevin Bennett always ensures that his clients are informed and have a plan of attack for their charges. Contact us today at (512) 476-4626 for a free consultation.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Austin area and surrounding communities including West Lake Hills, Tarrytown, Rollingwood and Sunset Valley.