Coming into contact with the police for any reason, whether or not you are being detained, can be highly stressful. Even individuals who know they are innocent and have not done anything wrong feel a sense of urgency and concern when they are arrested or detained by the police. Panicking while being detained is a common response. However, there are certain things you should avoid doing when you are being arrested, as they can negatively impact your legal defense.
A common response to being detained is resisting arrest. Suspects are understandably worried that they will lose their freedom and panic. Remember that any form of resistance can be seen as not complying with police officers’ demands. Resisting arrest is a separate crime in Texas. Suppose officers arrest someone for drug trafficking, and the suspect is innocent. The suspect tries to get away from police officers. Prosecutors can charge him with resisting arrest, and he will face criminal consequences even though he did not commit the underlying crime.
When you are being arrested, try to slow your breathing down and speak calmly and directly. Move slowly, do not argue with the officer, and try to comply with their demands, even if they are unreasonable. Although it is often unfair, any type of disobedience could negatively impact your criminal defense case. Take the following steps to avoid being charged with resisting arrest:
Under no circumstances should you use any type of physical force against the police officer
Do not argue with the police officer, even if the police officer is being unreasonable or is wrong
Do not try to get away from the police officer by wrestling out of the handcuffs
The Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas
Resisting arrest is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to 12 months in prison and fines of up to $4,000. When the defendant has a previous conviction for resisting arrest or uses a vehicle or watercraft to flee the arresting officer, he or she will face a state jail felony that carries a prison sentence of up to two years.
When the defendant uses a vehicle or watercraft to flee the officer and has a previous conviction for resisting arrest or causes another person to suffer serious bodily injury, he or she will be charged with a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies carry up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Finally, if another person dies as a direct result of the defendant trying to flee the officer, he or she will be charged with a second-degree felony which carries up to 20 years behind bars and fines of up to $10,000.
Discuss Your Case With a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer
The actions you take when police are trying to arrest you are essential. They could mean the difference between additional criminal charges being added or your charges being dismissed in the future. Contact Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation.