The Penalty For Evading Arrest | Det W/Veh
Evading Arrest/Detention With Vehicle
According to the Texas Penal Code, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle is a serious offense, punishable by jail time and heavy fines. If an officer has, in fact, given a driver lawful verbal or audible signals to stop for any reason, he/she is legally obligated to comply, as evading these commands is considered a third-degree felony.
Additionally, individuals operating vehicles with passengers may risk tougher penalties due to potential endangerment that result from evading arrest. All drivers in Texas should be mindful of their responsibility to follow the law when an authority figure attempts to make an arrest or initiate a traffic stop; evading such can have serious legal consequences with harsh punishments.
Evading Arrest Texas – Definition
Evading arrest in Texas is a criminal misdemeanor charge, punishable by fines and jail time. It happens when someone evades a law enforcement officer’s attempt to take them into custody, either through force or fear of their own safety such as running away from the officer.
Texas courts typically recognize evading arrest as unlawfully evading a police officer who is attempting to make an arrest, stop, or detain someone for an alleged criminal violation. The severity of the penalty for evading arrest depends on the situation, but it can include jail time and hefty fines.
Did you know that certain types of evading arrest in Texas qualify as felony crimes?
Criminal defense attorney in Houston, Tx. Call (281) 853-8537 for a free consultation.
Evading Arrest In Texas
Texas Penal Code 38.04
From the Texas Penal Code –http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.38.htm
Sec. 38.04. EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.
Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 839 (H.B. 3423), Sec. 4, and Ch. 391, Sec. 1
(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.
There is a lot going on in that statute. Most likely the main issues to focus on are the words “intentionally,” meaning it must be your conscious objective to evade.
Also, many clients do not realize that the word “flee” does not necessary mean using some kind of force to escape.
Also, you must “know” that the person you are fleeing is a peace officer of federal special investigator, who is attempting to lawfully arrest or detain.
Consider that in order for an officer to “lawfully” detain someone, the office must reasonably suspect that you have committed a crime, i.e., have reasonable suspicion.
Simple Evading Arrest is a Class A Misdemeanor in Texas.
When Evading Arrest Becomes a 3rd Degree Felony
If your evasion employs a motor vehicle, then the crime is automatically upgraded to a felony charge. All you have to do is use some type of motor vehicle during the flight…and then you can be accused of a 3rd degree felony, which is punishable by a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 years in prison.
And, keep in mind that you don’t have to be the one driving the vehicle to get the felony charge.
Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney
Call (281) 853-8537 for a free consultation.