If you are facing charges of resisting arrest, you may be tempted to plead guilty because you think it’s a minor charge. However, there are several serious penalties associated with resisting arrest. In this post, we’ll detail those penalties and show you how a knowledgeable criminal attorney can help you fight your charges.
How Texas Treats Resisting Arrest Charges
Under Texas law, an individual commits the offense of resisting arrest if he or she intentionally obstructs or prevents a peace officer from carrying out a search, arrest, or transportation of an individual, and uses force against the peace officer or another person.
Something important to note is that if you face these charges, you are prohibited from using the defense of unlawful search or arrest. That’s right. If you resist arrest because you believe the police are acting in a wrongful manner, you forfeit your right to use that as an argument for your actions.
A resisting arrest offense is normally charged as a Class A misdemeanor. It will be raised to a third degree felony charge if a deadly weapon was used to resist the search or arrest.
There are also a number of separate charges that often come along with resisting arrest. For example, you may be charged for evading arrest, which is intentionally fleeing from arrest. This offense will result in a Class A misdemeanor charge and can be enhanced to a state jail felony for previous and similar convictions.
This charge will be a third degree felony if a watercraft or vehicle was used to flee the arrest, if a tire deflation device is used against the arresting officer, or if another person experiences serious bodily injury as a direct result of the flight. A second degree felony charge will apply if anyone dies as a direct result of the flight or if serious bodily injury is sustained due to a tire deflation device used against the officer.
Another related charge is failure to identify. State law requires that you provide your name, address, and date of birth to your arresting officer. Providing false information is either a Class C, B, or A misdemeanor, depending on the unique circumstances of the case.
If you or someone else hinders the arrest of another by warning someone of impending arrest, harboring or concealing another, or aiding another in escape, a Class A misdemeanor charge may result. The charge can be converted to a third degree felony in certain cases.
Penalties That Come with Texas Resisting Arrest Charges
In our state, a second degree felony conviction can result in 2-20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
A third degree felony may result in 2-10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
A state jail felony will result in incarceration for 180 days-2 years.
A Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $4,000, or both.
A Class B misdemeanor carries the penalties of up to 180 days in jail, a maximum fine of $2,000, or both.
A Class C misdemeanor may result in a fine of up to $500.
Why You Need Legal Assistance
Any type of criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor charge, can result in serious consequences. In addition to the criminal penalties you face, you may have trouble securing a job, a loan, and certain licenses with a criminal record.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest in Texas, you need the help of a skilled Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will know which defenses are most likely to help in your case. Get in touch today for your free case review.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.