Posted on 9/4/23

The consequences can be severe if you have been charged with resisting arrest in Texas. The crime of resisting arrest occurs when a person “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.” Resisting arrest can include the following actions:

  • Threatening a police officer
  • Providing false identification
  • Running away
  • Hiding
  • Fighting
  • Struggling with a police officer
  • Helping another person avoid arrest

Possible Defenses to Resisting Arrest in Texas

Every year, residents of Texas are charged with resisting arrest even when they had no intention of doing so. If law enforcement falsely accuses you of resisting arrest, it is important that you do not give up and accept a plea deal before speaking to an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

An attorney may be able to use several legal defenses to fight the charges you are facing. Even if there is evidence that you resisted arrest, a defense attorney may be able to help you get the charges against you dismissed or reduced.

Lack of Intent

To convict you of resisting arrest, the prosecutor must prove to the jury that you intentionally resisted arrest. If you did not know the person arrested was a police officer, you could not have intentionally resisted arrest. When police officers fail to identify themselves or lie about who they are, people can be falsely accused of resisting arrest.


Officers have used unreasonable force when making arrests in many instances. If an officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search before you are arrested, you may have the right to use self-defense. 

Additionally, when you reasonably believe that the force against the police officer is immediately necessary to protect yourself against the police officer’s use or attempted use of greater force, you can claim self-defense.

Lack of Probable Cause for the Arrest

Texas police officers can only make an arrest when they have observed a crime, have an arrest warrant, or have probable cause to suspect that the person committed a crime. To show probable cause, the arresting officer must produce tangible evidence that they had a reason to believe you were committing a criminal act. 

Suppose your defense attorney can establish that the officer did not have probable cause for the stop or search that led to you being arrested. In that case, the judge may drop the criminal charges against you, including resisting arrest.

Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Attorney

Resisting arrest and providing a police officer with false information are all serious crimes in Texas. You could face fines, jail time, probation, and a permanent criminal record if you are convicted. Do not hesitate to contact the skilled Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys at Abel Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation.

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office