Texas Resisting Arrest Laws
Being under arrest is an unpleasant experience that no one wants to endure. However, if you take actions that indicate that you are resisting arrest, then you risk further charges being leveled against you. There is protocol on both sides. Just like there are certain regulations that the police must follow when they are making arrests, certain behavior demonstrated by citizens can constitute resisting arrest.
Laws addressing the offense of resisting arrest vary from state to state. These laws can give rise to controversial situations involving law enforcement officers and the citizens that they are attempting to arrest. Some agencies use "body cams" to record such interactions. However, even when the cameras are used, there are problems including malfunctioning equipment and human error that render them useless. With that in mind, one cannot rely on cameras, and an understanding of Texas' resisting arrest laws is helpful when dealing with these issues.
Resisting Arrest in Texas
In Texas resisting arrest occurs when an individual uses force to interfere with or prevent a law enforcement officer from:
- Completing an arrest;
- Carrying out a search; or
- Transporting a person accused of a crime.
Evading Arrest in Texas
You can be charged with evading arrest if you intentionally run from a known law enforcement officer who is attempting to lawfully arrest or detain you. Lawful Arrest
In some states, the underlying arrest must be a lawful arrest. However, that is not the case in Texas: You can be charged with resisting arrest even if the arrest itself was unlawful. For evading arrest charges, you cannot be charged if the arrest was unlawful.
Texas Resisting Arrest Laws at a Glance
The chart below provides a summary of laws related to resisting arrest laws in Texas, including links to important code sections.
Statutes and Elements of the Crime
Penalties and Sentencing
Evading arrest: Under most circumstances, resisting arrest is a class A misdemeanor.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Texas Resisting Arrest Laws: Related Resources
- Texas Criminal Laws
- Texas Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
- Police Misconduct and Civil Rights
- Excessive Force and Police Brutality
Get Help with Your Resisting Arrest Case
If you have been accused of violating Texas' resisting arrest laws, then you may be dealing with serious consequences. You are likely already facing charges from the underlying arrest, but the resisting arrest charge can result in additional fines and possible incarceration. Get help from a Texas criminal defense attorney immediately.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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