When Can You Be Accused of Resisting Arrest in Texas?

09 Dec 2022
Greco Neyland, PC

Resisting an arrest can make any criminal charge work. It is essentially an additional charge. You can be convicted of a resisting arrest charge even if you are acquitted for the crime you were accused of in the first place.

You can be charged with resisting arrest even if the arrest was unlawful. Unfortunately, in Texas being subjected to an unlawful arrest isn’t a defense for a resisting arrest charge.

What is resisting arrest?

Resisting arrest is covered by Texas Penal Code Section 38.03. A person can be convicted of resisting arrest when they “intentionally prevents or obstructs a person they know is a peace officer or a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at their direction from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer or another.”

Note that it’s usually wise to stay quiet, calm, and compliant when you’re being arrested. While swearing or filming an arrest doesn’t really rise to the level of resisting arrest, police officers often use this behavior as an excuse to slap you with an additional charge. This sort of behavior can also make the encounter more dangerous, leading to police violence.

Penalties for a Resisting Arrest Charge

This charge is a Class A misdemeanor for a first-time offense and a felony for a second offense. It’s punishable by a one-year jail sentence with up to a $4,000 fine when it’s a first offense.

For a second offense, you can be sent to jail for up to 10 years and be fined up to $10,000.

Defending Resisting Arrest Charges

There are several defenses we can use.

One is to show you had no reason to believe the person trying to arrest you was a peace officer. This would be an effective defense in a case where the arresting officer was a plain clothes officer who didn’t properly identify themselves.

We may also be able to prove you did not intend to obstruct the officer’s arrest. For example, if you had a seizure while you were being arrested, flailed, and accidentally hit an officer in the mouth, we can use your medical records to show that you weren’t trying to do any harm or resist the arrest.

Get Help Today

If you’ve been arrested you need help from an expert criminal attorney. Our team can help you manage both the original charged and your resisting arrest charges.

Contact us to schedule a case review today.

See also:

Can HPD Enter Your Home Without a Warrant?

5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Your Houston, TX Criminal Case

What Should You Do If There’s a Warrant Out for Your Arrest in Houston, TX?

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