Evading Arrest & Resisting Arrest
The term “evading arrest” may call to mind images of high-speed car chases or images of police pursuing suspects on foot in Houston, Texas. Actually, evading and resisting arrest can play out in many different ways. Any attempt to avoid being placed into police custody may be charged as a criminal action, on top of any charges that inspired the arrest in the first place.
What is Resisting Arrest?
Any attempt to prevent police officers from performing an arrest may be against the law. This can include a suspect refusing to be put in handcuffs, struggling with officers or running away from officers.
The lines that separate legal interactions with law enforcement officers from illegal ones are not always clear. For example, a person who believes that he is innocent of a crime might struggle with police officers when they try to handcuff him. In that person’s mind, he is simply trying to prevent a wrongful arrest. To the police, however, he is a potentially dangerous suspect who might be trying to fight them.
Law enforcement officers deal with potentially dangerous situations on a regular basis. For this reason, any attempt to struggle with police in the middle of the arrest can result in immediate criminal charges.
Legal Penalties for Fighting with Cops
The consequences for this crime vary based on the extent of the actions committed by the alleged offender. For example, refusing to be handcuffed will be punished less harshly than fleeing from officers on foot. According to the Texas Penal Code, some penalties examples:
- Fleeing without the use of a vehicle is a Class A misdemeanor
- Fleeing in any type of vehicle is a state jail felony
- Fleeing that results in the injury of an officer or bystander is a third degree felony
Any of these penalties can be upgraded if the alleged offender has any previous convictions for this same offense.
Possible Evading Arrest Defenses
Some Houston, Texas defenses for evasion cases argue that the defendant was fleeing an unlawful arrest. For example, if an officer attempted to execute an illegal, unwarranted search and then attempted to make an arrest, a person fleeing that officer may be within his legal rights.