WHAT IS RESISTING ARREST?
When a law enforcement officer attempts to arrest, search, or transport you and you use force against the officer in an attempt to prevent or obstruct him from doing so, this is considered resisting arrest. It is not a defense to prosecution that the arrest was unlawful. Resisting an arrest or search by a peace officer is a Class A Misdemeanor, under Texas Penal Code 38.04.
If you use a deadly weapon to resist an arrest or search, the crime escalates from a misdemeanor to a third degree felony.
There are other criminal offenses related to Resisting Arrest. If you flee from an officer who is attempting to lawfully arrest you, this is considered Evading Arrest in violation of Penal Code Sec. 38.04 and is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor. If you flee in a motor vehicle, it is a state jail felony with a punishment of up to 2 years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The offense of Escape under Penal Code Sec. 38.06 occurs if you escape from the custody of a peace officer after you have been arrested and is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor.
HOW TO HANDLE AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE POLICE
If you find yourself in an encounter with a police officer, it is best that you cooperate, do not resist, do not get physical, and do not try to flee from the officer. Doing so will only give the officer a reason to file additional charges against you. You may have a valid defense to the marijuana or drugs in your pocket, but may not be able to successfully defend against a resisting arrest charge.
Your best bet is to be cooperative, admit nothing, and ask for an attorney. Do not make any admissions and do not make any oral or written statements.
Related: Read our FAQ on should I talk to a detective?
RESISTING ARREST CHARGE PENALTY
Class A Misdemeanor
A person intentionally resists arrest or search from a person he/she knows to be a peace officer.
A fine of up to $4,000, and a jail term up to one year.
Third Degree Felony
A person intentionally resists arrest and uses a deadly weapon to evade an arrest or search.
A fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or less than two years.
Justin was my lawyer for a case I had with Tarrant County. He was very responsive, professional, and helped us sooo much! I ended up having everything dismissed. Definitely highly recommend!
- Payton R.
I cannot say enough good things about this law firm! They took care of me and immediately started working my case. They knew exactly what to do as soon as I told them my story.
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DEFENSES AGAINST RESISTING ARREST CHARGES:
Self defense if the police officer used greater force than necessary or if force used by you is reasonably necessary to protect yourself against the use of greater force than necessary by the police officer
Evidence seized during an unlawful arrest are inadmissible at trial
Statements elicited by officers during an unlawful arrest are inadmissible at trial
No force was used against the arresting officer
HOW TO GET RESISTING ARREST CHARGES DROPPED?
Challenging a police officer’s basis for your arrest and demonstrating a lack of probable cause could result in a dismissal of the charges against you. In order to put a case together, you need to hire an experienced defense attorney. Justin and the team at Sparks Law Firm rigorously evaluate the entire case and stay in regular contact with you as your case progresses through the system.
To take more control of your case’s outcome, hire a qualified attorney who knows how to steer your case towards dismissal, reduction, or deferred adjudication probation.