The reality of coming into contact with police for any reason is much different than how we tend to expect. Our response to being stopped, pulled over, arrested, or detained can vary before we even start to think of the repercussions based on the reasoning of the officers for their initial contact. One of the most common responses and factors that we have to take into account in order to avoid, is resisting arrest. Any form of resistance, which includes any form of non-compliance with a police officers commands will be counted as resisting arrest which will be tacked on as an additional criminal charge.
While it may seem like a small act to move slowly, to talk back to the officer, or to not comply with their demands when they seem unreasonable, disobeying a command from a law enforcement officer is a mistake that can greatly impact your criminal defense case.
How Excessive Force from Police May Benefit Your Case
On the flip side, following a police officers commands when they seem to be using excessive force or have extreme reactions can be beneficial to your case. Allowing an officer to make a mistake is an effective way to push for a motion to dismiss your criminal case before trial.
If you have been charged with a crime and think this applies to your case, contact the attorneys at Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C. by calling 682-777-3336 to find out if we can help reach a dismissal of your case.
Actions to Avoid When Being Arrested and Detained
According to the Texas Penal Code Title 8. Offenses Against Public Administration Sec. 38.03. RESISTING ARREST, SEARCH, OR TRANSPORTATION.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he knows is 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.
(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the arrest or search was unlawful.
(c) Except as provided in Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search.
In Texas, resisting arrest is defined under the law as intentionally obstructing or preventing a peace officer from carrying out an arrest, a lawful search, or the transportation of a person. It also includes any use of force against another person or a peace officer.
Normally, resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas but it can be raised to a felony charge in the third degree in certain situations where a deadly weapon is used. See the following:
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is:
(1) a state jail felony if:
(A) the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or
(B) the actor uses a vehicle or watercraft while the actor is in flight and the actor has not been previously convicted under this section;
(2) a felony of the third degree if:
(A) the actor uses a vehicle or watercraft while the actor is in flight and the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or
(B) another suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer or investigator from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight; or
(3) a felony of the second degree if another suffers death as a direct result of an attempt by the officer or investigator from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight.
Other charges can also stem from resisting an arrest, evading arrest, or someone else dying or sustaining a serious bodily injury as the direct result of your attempt to resist arrest.
Don’t get physical
Under no circumstance should you use physical force against the police when they are trying to detain you. Even if you feel you are being wrongly arrested, getting physical will only escalate the situation and risk your safety.
Do not argue with the police. It will not help the situation and can actually only serve to make things worse. If something happens during the arrest that you feel is wrong, you will have the opportunity to take steps afterward.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas
There are several penalties that can result from a resisting arrest charge. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, as well as its level, depends on the charges against you. But the general penalties include:
- Class C misdemeanor – Fines up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor – As many as 6 months in jail and fines of $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor – As many as 12 months behind bars and fines of $4,000
- State jail felony – As many as two years behind bars
- Third-degree felony – As many as 10 years behind bars and fines of $10,000
- Second-degree felony – As many as 20 years behind bars and fines of $10,000
When police are attempting to detain you, your next actions are very important. They will be the difference between possible additional charges being added on or a possible dismissal in the future. Find below a few of the basic do’s and don’ts when being detained by police in Texas.
Know Your Rights
When being arrested, one of the main rights you have under the law is to exercise your right to remain silent. If the police ask you questions, you have the right to decline to answer them without a lawyer present. Simply let the officer know you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you want an attorney.
Hiring Cofer Luster Law Firm, P.C.
We’re available for hire the moment you need us. Call our office at any time and we’ll either answer immediately or get back to you quickly to provide you with a strong criminal defense and the counsel you need when you need it.