Interacting with law enforcement can be stressful, especially if they suspect you of committing a crime. If you’re being arrested, you may have to deal with some level of unnecessary force from the arresting officer. While it’s natural for you to react to an overwhelming situation, you can be charged with a crime if you resist arrest. The penalties for resisting arrest in Texas can be severe. If you’re convicted, you may have to pay steep fines or even face incarceration. That’s why you should never take these charges lightly. While it’s considered to be a misdemeanor offense, it can be elevated to a felony with more serious penalties (such as hefty fines along with possible jail or prison time).
Resisting Arrest According to Texas Law
Facing an arrest by a law enforcement officer can be overwhelming. Many people who are arrested don’t even fully understand their charges. But, if you resist, you could be criminally charged. According to the Section 38.03 of the Texas Penal Code, resisting arrest is considered a crime under the following circumstances:
- You intentionally obstruct a peace officer through the use of force.
- The obstruction affects the officer’s arrest, search, or transportation of you or someone else.
The penalties for resisting arrest in Texas can be more severe if you were in possession of a deadly weapon, which can be a firearm or anything that can cause serious bodily injury or death. You can also be charged if you resist an officer by “using force,” which is a very subjective term that can change depending on someone’s point of view. So, the courts may not agree with what you think is forceful.
Statute of Limitations for Resisting Arrest in Texas
Prosecutors have a limited amount of time to file criminal charges against you. This is referred to as a “statute of limitations.” If the District Attorney’s Office doesn’t charge you within the statute of limitations, you can no longer be prosecuted. If it was a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is two years. So, if you resist or evade arrest without any aggravating factors, you will have to be charged within this time frame.
Felonies in Texas have a three-year statute of limitations. So, if you have been charged with resisting arrest in Texas and it’s considered a felony, it would be three years unless any of the following apply:
- You resisted arrest or detention while you were in possession of a deadly weapon.
- You evaded arrest while having a criminal history.
- You used a motor vehicle or watercraft to escape arrest.
- You used a tire deflation device to escape arrest.
- You caused injury to someone else because you tried to escape arrest.
- You caused the death of someone else because you tried to escape arrest.
Be sure to speak to a qualified attorney for more information.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas
If you resist arrest in the State of Texas, there could be some serious consequences. If you’re convicted, it would be considered a class A misdemeanor that can come with the following penalties:
- Up to 12 months in the county jail.
- A possible fine of up to $4,000.
If you had a deadly weapon in your possession while you evaded the arrest, the penalties can be enhanced to a third-degree felony. The penalties for this type of crime would be:
- Up to 10 years in prison.
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
It’s also illegal to escape or avoid detention and would be considered a class A misdemeanor. But, if you have a criminal history, it could be elevated to a state jail felony. This would come with the following penalties:
- Up to 24 months in a state jail.
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Evading arrest or detention can be elevated to third-degree felony if you performed any of the following actions:
- You operated a motor vehicle or watercraft to evade or escape arrest.
- You used a tire deflation device to slow down law enforcement while you were escaping arrest.
- Someone got seriously injured because you tried to escape arrest.
If someone died because you tried to escape arrest, the crime would be considered a second-degree felony and would come with the following punishments:
- Up to 20 years in prison.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest in Texas and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.