If you have wrongfully or illegally been targeted by law enforcement and asked to participate in an investigation, the worst thing you could do is run from the police. If the police officers have decided to arrest or detain you and you have done nothing wrong, don’t resist their efforts and don’t attempt to run or drive away in your vehicle. Making the decision to run can result in a chase on foot or by vehicle, creating an increased risk of death or serious bodily injury to yourself, the police officers or the public. It’s because of this risk to the public and police officers that the Texas Legislature has labeled Evading Arrest a serious crime that could require you to face serious criminal consequences ranging from misdemeanor probation to 20 years in a Texas prison.
How Does Texas Law Define the Crime of Evading Arrest?
According to Texas Penal Code, Section 38.04 Evading Arrest or Detention, the State of Texas through the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office will be required to prove the following elements in order to determine someone guilty of evading arrest beyond a reasonable doubt:
“A person commits the offense of Evading Arrest if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.”
If a police officer is attempting to execute a valid search warrant upon your residence, attempting to avoid the enforcement of the warrant could lead to you being arrested for evading arrest or detention. Additionally, a police officer establishing probable cause that you might have been involved in criminal activity and attempting to detain you requires you to comply with his detention until the police officer determines whether a crime has occurred. Texas law has imposed a duty on ever Texas resident to submit to the authority of a police officer when that officer is attempting to lawfully arrest or detain a citizen for an investigation. Failing to comply with the police officer’s request to detain or arrest you could result in additional criminal charges that could make it more difficult to resolve your legal situation
What is the Punishment in Texas for an Evading Arrest Conviction?
In order to determine the possible criminal consequences of an evading arrest conviction, it must first be determined whether a vehicle was used during the crime and whether the citizen has a prior criminal record. Although it is important to consult an experienced evading arrest lawyer to determine your specific case facts, the following is a list of possible punishments provided under Texas law for the crime of Evading Arrest:
- Class A Misdemeanor (punishable by a term in the Tarrant County jail of not more than 1 year and up to a $4,000 fine) if the evading arrest did not involve the use of a motor vehicle and the citizen has not been previously convicted of evading arrest.
- State Jail Felony (punishable by a term in a State Jail Facility of not more than 2 years but not less than 180 days) if the citizen has been previously convicted of evading arrest.
- Third Degree Felony (punishable by a term in prison of not more than 10 years but not less than 2 years) if a vehicle was used by the citizen during the evading arrest or someone suffers serious bodily injury during the commission of the crime.
- Second Degree Felony (punishable by a term in prison of not more than 20 years but not less than 2 years) if someone is killed during an evading arrest attempt.
- Aggressively Defending Your Evading Arrest Charge
If you are being prosecuted by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for a felony or misdemeanor charge of Evading Arrest, it is important to find an aggressive defense attorney experienced in handling evading arrest cases in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas.
Defenses to Evading Arrest Charges that Might Get Your Case Dismissed or Dropped
A critical issue that must be explored in all evading arrest cases is the element of whether the arrest or detention was lawful. If the police officer that made the arrest or detention did so without a valid warrant or made the decision based upon a lack of reasonable suspicion, your evading arrest charges may be dropped or thrown out by the judge. It is critical to your defense that an experienced attorney review the specific facts of your case and make a determination if this defense is available for your evading arrest case.
I am a passionate attorney experienced with evading arrest and other felony and misdemeanor charges. If you choose to hire me for your defense team, I will aggressively defend you against the evading arrest charge and thoroughly investigate your case to determine if the police officer’s violated your Constitutional rights during the detention and/or arrest.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Our Defense Attorneys
Call The Hampton Law Firm now for a free consultation and an opportunity to speak to me about the facts of your case and the options you have under Texas law. Call Jeff Hampton at The Hampton Law Firm at 817-877-5200.
Contact the Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation to determine your rights and legal options.