Charged with Resisting Arrest in Tarrant County?
If you have been arrested and charged with resisting arrest in Tarrant County, it is critical to find an experienced defense lawyer to represent you and work to negotiate a dismissal of your case to protect your clean record. Receiving a criminal conviction for resisting arrest could not only carry the criminal consequences of a hefty fine and time in jail but could also limit your job prospects and reputation in the future.
How Do Texas Laws Define Resisting Arrest?
According to Texas Penal Code, Title 8: Offenses Against Public Administration, Chapter 38: Obstructing Governmental Operation, Section 38.03, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office will have to prove the following elements of resisting arrest beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction: you intentionally prevented or obstructed a person that you knew was a peace officer or a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer or another. Below is an snapshot of the actual Texas Penal Code, click on the image to enlarge it.
Source: Texas Penal Code Title 8, Chapter 38.03 Resisting Arrest, Search or Transportation.
Basically this means that they have to prove you either (1) prevented or attempted to stop a police officer from arresting you, (2) got in the way of an officer’s search for a wanted fugitive (or hid as a fugitive while the officer tried to make an arrest), or (3)that you prevented the officer from transporting you or another person they attempted to take into custody.
- Obstructing an arrest
- Preventing a search
- Hiding from an arresting officer
- Preventing an officer from taking you or another into custody
- Impeding transportation needed to make an arrest
- Fleeing or escaping from an arresting officer
- Using force against a law enforcement officer to evade arrest or help another do so
- Attempting to prevent an arrest
Fines & Punishment in Texas for a Resisting Arrest Conviction
Texas Penal Code Title 8, Chapter 38.03 Resisting Arrest, Search or Transportation states that if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search then the crime is categorized as a 3rd degree felony punishable by no less than 2 years but not more than 10 years in a Texas prison. In all other situations, the Texas Penal Code designates the crime of resisting arrest as a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in Tarrant County jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Even if you think these charges are minor, in many cases they can be enhanced to make the punishment more severe. Seek the counsel of an experienced resisting arrest lawyer who knows how to build and execute a strong defense.
Unfortunately, under the same section of Texas Penal Code, you cannot argue that the arrest or attempted arrest was unlawful as your defense. In other words, if a police officer singled you out for no legal reason and chose to harass and illegally search you and that search led to nothing of substance, if you resist that officer’s attempt to search or arrest you, you can still be arrested and charged with the crime of resisting arrest. It is important to understand that no matter how improper and illegal the police officer may be acting, you must not resist the officer in even the slightest way or you could be facing a serious criminal charge. Even if you think the officer is searching you illegally, trying to stop him could mean resisting arrest charges.
Why Hire a Defense Lawyer for Resisting Arrest Charges?
The crime of resisting arrest is a serious criminal allegation and if convicted, can seriously damage your reputation in the community and with your employer. You must know your rights and fight to keep this charge off of your criminal record by retaining an experienced defense lawyer that will aggressively fight and do what it takes to get your case dismissed. Our resisting arrest defense attorneys at The Hampton Law Firm will aggressively fight to keep this criminal allegation off of your criminal record.
Call Now to Schedule a Free Case Review
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.