If you’ve been charged with evading or resisting arrest in Houston or Harris County, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights. A conviction for evading or resisting arrest could result in hefty fines and jail time. It will permanently appear on your public record, potentially making it difficult for you to get a job, loan, or housing.
Evading Arrest Charges in Texas: What You Should Know
According to Title 8, Chapter 38 of the Texas penal code, a person is evading arrest if they intentionally flee from a person they know is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting to lawfully arrest or detain them. In Texas, evading arrest is a Class A misdemeanor. However, the charges can be bumped up, depending on the circumstances:
- If you’ve been previously convicted for evading arrest, or used a vehicle or watercraft to evade arrest, you could be charged with a state jail felony.
- If you use a vehicle or watercraft to evade arrest and someone is injured as a result, or you try to evade arrest by using a tire deflation device against pursuing law enforcement, you could be charged with a felony of the third degree.
- If someone dies or an officer is injured due to a tire deflation device, you could be charged with a felony of the second degree.
Resisting Arrest Charges in Texas: What You Should Know
In Texas, a person commits the crime of resisting arrest when they intentionally prevent or obstruct a person they know to be 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.
Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas; the charges can be bumped up to felony of the third degree if you use a deadly weapon to resist an arrest or search.
Failure to Identify Charges in Houston or Harris County
You can also be arrested and charged with failure to identify if you intentionally refuse to provide your name, residence address, or date of birth to a law enforcement officer who has lawfully detained or arrested you and requested the information. You can also be charged if you refuse to identify yourself when a law enforcement officer believes you were a witness to a criminal offense.
Generally, failure to identify is a Class C misdemeanor; however, the charges can be bumped up to a Class B misdemeanor if you intentionally supply false or fictitious information to law enforcement.
Fines/Jail Time If You’re Convicted of Evading or Resisting Arrest in Houston, Texas
If you’re convicted of evading or resisting arrest in Houston, Texas, or surrounding areas, you could face jail time and/or fines of:
- Class C Misdemeanor: fines of up to $500 (no jail time).
- Class B Misdemeanor: fines of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail
- Class A Misdemeanor: fines of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail
- State Jail Felony: fines up to $10,000 and up to a year in state prison
- Third Degree Felony: fines up to $10,000 and 2 to 10 years in state prison
- Second Degree Felony: fines up to $10,000 and 2 to 20 years in state prison
- First Degree Felony: fines up to $10,000 and 5 to 99 years in state prison.
Defend Yourself Against Charges of Evading/Resisting Arrest
If you’ve been charged with evading or resisting arrest in Houston or Harris County, it’s important to remember that you’re innocent until proven guilty. A Houston evading arrest attorney number of effective legal defense strategies may help to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to argue that:
- Law enforcement officers failed to or improperly identified themselves
- You were unaware that law enforcement was in pursuit of you
- You misunderstood when law enforcement wanted to detain you
- There was no probable cause for your arrest
- You were the victim of an unlawful search or seizure
Speak to a Houston Evading Arrest/Resisting Defense Attorney
The sooner you take steps to defend yourself against charges of evading/resisting arrest the better. Lisa Shapiro Strauss, a former County prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, uses her unique background to gain valuable insights into how the state will pursue its case against her clients. She’s helped clients charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, and other misdemeanors and felony crimes avoid jail; her representation often results in dismissed or reduced charges for her clients.
The law office of Lisa Shapiro Strauss is based in Bellaire, Texas. She represents clients throughout Houston and Harris County, including West University Place, Meyerland, Memorial, the Galleria, Greenway, Sharpstown, and Alief. Call (713) 429-7310 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.