When you are placed under arrest in Texas, you are required by law to submit
willfully and comply with law enforcement. According to Texas Penal Code
§ 38.03, preventing or obstructing a peace officer from making an
arrest or search through the use of force constitutes the crime of resisting
arrest, which carries criminal consequences if you are convicted in court.
Resisting arrest is considered a Class A misdemeanor charge, meaning you
could face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. However, this is
for a simple charge; any augmenting factors could add to your penalties.
For example, using a deadly weapon when resisting arrest automatically
increases your charges to a third-degree felony, which means you could
be sent to prison for up to 10 years and $10,000 fine.
Examples of Resisting Arrest
The law simply defines “resisting arrest” as “using force”
to attempt to prevent arrest or lawful restraint; it does not specify
how much force must be used. As a result, even small amounts of force
could lead to resisting arrest charges. This does mean your charges lie
solely on the opinion of the officer involved, but it does also give you
and your Fort Worth criminal defense attorney the ability to combat them as well.
Some examples of resisting arrest can include:
- Getting involved in a physical altercation with police officers (including
throwing punches, elbows, etc.)
- Using a gun to attempt to fend off police
- Refusing to hold still or allow yourself to be handcuffed
While this may seem like an identical crime, evading arrest is actually
an entirely different charge according to Texas Penal Code § 38.04.
Whereas resisting arrest requires the use of force against a peace officer
to prevent your arrest, evading arrest is simply attempting to flee from
an officer who is trying to detain you.
Evading arrest is a Class B misdemeanor, which can lead to 180 days in
jail and a $2,000 fine if you are convicted. However, using a vehicle
to flee from police, your charges are upgraded to a state jail felony,
penalized by up to 180 days in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Both resisting arrest and evading arrest could be supplemental charges,
added on to existing criminal charges. For example, if you rob a bank
and lead police on a daring high-speed chase, you’ll most likely
face felony charges for the bank robbery plus state jail felony charges
for leading police on the pursuit while they attempt to arrest you.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest, you should not hesitate
to seek legal representation.
Jerry Loftin & Associates have the skill and experience you are looking for in a trustworthy, reputable
legal advocate. We have more than 65 years of combined experience during
which we have handled more than 3,000 cases throughout the state of Texas,
including a remarkable record of success. No matter how serious or small
your charges, we understand how important they are to your life, and we
work hard to fight back on your behalf to help you preserve your rights.
Call Jerry Loftin & Associates today for a
free consultation! Call us at 817.429.2000.