A woman was recently charged with two felony and three misdemeanors counts after she was involved in a very low speed chase that occurred on the roads between Denton to Lewisville. The chase occurred when the Highway Patrol tried to stop the motorist for an unspecified traffic violations. The driver was eventually caught when law enforcement deployed tire deflation equipment. The woman was taken to the Denton County Jail where she was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest with a vehicle, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, and driving with an invalid license. The woman’s bail totals $110,000.
Each year, many people in the state of Texas are charged with evading arrest. These offenses frequently result in various complications that can change a person’s life. As a result, this offense raises some unique considerations about evading arrest charges.
The Difference Between Evading and Resisting Arrest
Evading and resisting arrest might sound similar, but these are actually two separate offenses.
Classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, resisting arrest involves a person attempting to interfere with a law enforcement officer’s duties. Felony resisting arrest cases are often reserved for situations in which a person responds violently.
Evading arrest, however, involves fleeing from a law enforcement officer. These charges require law enforcement to prove that a person intentionally or knowingly fled from being arrested. While fleeing on foot is a misdemeanor, fleeing with the use of a vehicle is classified as a felony.
Some of the situations that law enforcement might use to establish that a person was evading arrest include activity that creates a risk of death or injury, the existence of any nearby parties who were injured, and prior convictions for similar charges.
The Penalties Associated With an Evading Arrest Charge
Evading arrest is a serious charge that can result in a person facing imprisonment or large fines. Some of the penalties that can result from evading arrest include imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000.
For repeat offenses or cases involving fleeing in a vehicle, however, a person faces up to two years in jail.
There is one other unique classification of evading arrest. If a person causes injury to another, that individual can face a third degree felony which can result in up to 10 years in prison.
If You are Stopped by a Law Enforcement Officer
For people who are stopped for any reason by a law enforcement officer, there is some important advice to follow to avoid being charged with evading arrest. These steps include the following:
- Obey any instructions provided by the law enforcement officer.
- Never resist detainment or arrest of any kind.
- Do not run away from law enforcement.
- Avoid making any sudden movements.
- Keep your hands visible at all times.
Contact an Experienced Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with evading arrest, contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. The legal counsel at Wheeler Law Office knows how to best construct a strong legal defense.
(image courtesy of JP Valery)