Evading Arrest or Detention

In some cases, an arrest can be extremely stressful. Law enforcement may seem too forceful or the situation may overwhelm the alleged offender. Sometimes evading arrest can arise from a simple misunderstanding. No matter the circumstances, evading arrest or fleeing the scene of an arrest is a crime under Texas law.

Evading arrest or detention is a serious charge in the state of Texas. Those charged with evading arrest may face expensive fines, possible prison or jail time, and a criminal record. If you or someone you know has been charged with evading arrest or detention, it’s vital that you gain trusted legal representation.

Houston Attorney for Evading Arrest or Detention in Texas

Texas is not kind to those who attempt to escape an arrest. Depending on the circumstances you may face felony charges. Any person who has been charged with evading arrest or detention, should seek a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm is skilled at defending those accused of obstructing governmental or law enforcement operations. He has years of experience in the Texas criminal court system and understands the ins and outs of Texas laws. Do what is best for your future and call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.

The Benken Law Firm accepts clients throughout all communities in the Harris County area including Houston, Midtown, Gulfton, and Magnolia Park.

Contact Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 today to schedule a free consultation.

Overview for Evading Arrest or Detention in Texas 


Definitions for Evading Arrest or Detention in Texas

In the heat of the moment, it may seem like a good idea to flee from an arrest. However, these actions can lead to negative legal consequences. The Texas Penal Code § 38.04 outlines evading arrest or detention as a person who intentionally flees or attempts to flee a law enforcement officer who is lawfully arresting or detaining him or her.

The penalties for evading arrest or detention are dependent on the context of the offense itself. If an alleged offender uses a vehicle, watercraft, or tire deflation device in the course of their offense he or she may face enhanced penalties.

Texas Penal Code § 49.01(4) defines a “watercraft” as a vessel, water skis, seaplane, or other device that is used to transport a person on water. The Penal Code also defines a “tire deflation device” as an instrument that when driven over can impede or halt the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more tires.


Texas Penalties for Evading Arrest or Detention in Houston

Texas penalties for fleeing an arrest are reliant on the circumstances of the crime. If a person attempts or does evade arrest or detention, he or she will face a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

If the alleged offender flees and has a criminal history of evading arrest or detention, he or she will have their charges enhanced to a state jail felony. A state jail felony is punishable with a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 24 months in jail, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

The crime of evading arrest or detention is elevated to a third-degree felony if the alleged offender does any of the following:

  • Used a vehicle or watercraft while evading or attempting to flee from an arrest;
  • Used a tire deflation device to hinder the law enforcement officer or officers while in flight; or
  • During the course of the offense, another person suffered serious bodily injury as a direct result of the alleged offender’s attempt to flee from an arrest or detention.

A third-degree felony is punishable with a minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

If another person dies as a direct result from evading arrest or attempting to evade arrest, then the alleged offender’s penalty will be elevated to a second-degree felony. The consequences of a second-degree felony include a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.


Texas Statute of Limitations for Evading Arrest

For every crime, prosecutors have a certain time limit to file criminal charges against a person. A statute of limitations is the deadline that the State must follow if they want to prosecute a person for a crime. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to preserve the integrity of evidence and handle criminal cases with efficiency.

In Texas, a statute of limitations is decided by what type of crime was committed. If a person commits evading arrest without any aggravating factors, his or her statute of limitations will be two years. This is because fleeing an arrest without aggravating factors is a misdemeanor and all misdemeanors have a two-year statute of limitations.  If a person commits the offense of evading arrest with additional aggravating factors, he or she will face felony charges. This means that his or her statute of limitations will be three years.


Additional Resources

Texas Evading Arrest Laws –Visit the official website for Texas state laws and legislation. Find more information surrounding the charge specifics for evading arrest, the penalties for evading arrests, the admissible defenses in court, and other government-obstruction offenses.

Houston Arrest Records – Visit the official website for the Houston Police Department and gain access to their annual arrest records. Find more information through their Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and see which offenses had the most arrests, and view their crime map to see which areas had the most arrests.


Houston Lawyer for Fleeing Arrest in Texas

Have you been charged with evading arrest or detention in the Harris County area? It’s important that you are prepared for what may come next. A skilled attorney can evaluate your case and present all your legal options.

Brian Benken is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Harris County area. With his incredible knowledge and skill, Brian Benken can formulate a strong defense for you. Attorney Benken can be not just your attorney, but also your partner in this legal case. Find trusted representation with The Benken Law Firm.

Attorney Brian Benken practices law throughout all communities in Harris County including Midtown, Gulfton, Houston Heights, and Greenspoint.

Call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on October 12, 2018.

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