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Being approached by a police officer can elicit a lot of emotions. For someone who has just committed a crime, they might feel an urge to run and avoid dealing with the consequences of their actions. Getting arrested can be a traumatizing and scary experience, but running will only make the situation worse.
Whether you’re innocent or guilty, evading arrest by running from the cops will automatically result in criminal penalties, as well as point a guilty finger in your direction.
It’s natural to be afraid and want to avoid the situation, but it’s important to remember the long term ramifications of this decision.
What does it mean to evade arrest?
In Texas, under penal code § 38.04, someone is guilty of evading arrest when they purposefully run from someone they know is a law enforcement officer who is attempting to detain them. This includes struggling with the officer as they try to handcuff you, or fleeing the scene on foot or by motor vehicle.
In order to be charged with evading arrest, there are four things that a procedure needs to prove.
- The defendant tried to flee from the officer purposefully
- The defendant knew they were feeling from a police officer
- The defendant fled in a motor vehicle or on foot
- The defendant was in the process of being arrested by a police officer for breaking a law
The circumstances of your potential arrest could dictate how you are prosecuted for evading arrest. Evading arrest by foot is considered a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. In some cases, your evasion may be tried as a state jail felony, felony in the third degree, and felony in the second degree if you attempt to run from the police in a motor vehicle. The penalty for felony evasion can range from 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If law enforcement officers pursue you, it’s important to do as they say. If they are trying to arrest you, you should allow them to do so, even if you think you are innocent. If you believe the arrest is a mistake, remain calm, and ask to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Do not say anything that could potentially implicate you, and do not try and run once the arrest has been made.
If you’ve been charged with evading arrest, it’s unwise to think you can deal with the situation on your own or by conducting internet research. As a Houston evading arrest lawyer, Christopher T. Gore is here to work with you through the trial to create possible defenses for your case. He’s experienced with evading arrest cases and knows how tricky it can be for the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you face criminal charges, set up a consultation with a knowledgeable Houston attorney as soon as possible. Call the offices of Christopher T. Gore at 713-223-1600.