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How to Handle a Resisting Arrest Charge in Texas

 Posted on April 17, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Tarrant County Criminal LawyerIf you have been charged with resisting arrest, you are likely feeling stressed and uncertain about what to do next. Facing a charge for resisting arrest is a serious offense that can result in jail time, hefty fines, and can remain permanently on your criminal record. However, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and build a strong defense. A Texas lawyer can take an in-depth look at your situation and provide guidance on the next appropriate steps.

What is a Resisting Arrest Charge in Texas?

Under Texas Penal Code Section 38.03, a person commits the offense of resisting arrest if there is intention to prevent or obstruct a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation by using force against the officer. This includes actions such as pulling away from an officer’s grasp, struggling to break free, or physically fighting back against the officer.

It is important to note that simply arguing with or verbally opposing an officer does not constitute resisting arrest. The resistance must involve physical force or violence against the officer. The arrest or search must be lawful for a resisting arrest charge to apply. If the officer did not have probable cause or a valid warrant, you may have grounds to challenge the charge.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Texas

Resisting arrest is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, if a deadly weapon was used or exhibited during the offense, it can be elevated to a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony carries a potential sentence of up to ten years or a minimum of two years in prison, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

Even if you manage to avoid jail time, a resisting arrest conviction can have long-lasting consequences. It will appear on your criminal record, which can impact your ability to secure employment, housing, and educational opportunities. It may also affect your professional licenses and certifications.

Building a Strong Defense Strategy

If you are facing a resisting arrest charge, a criminal defense lawyer can help you build a strong defense strategy. Your attorney will carefully review the evidence against you, including police reports, witness statements, and any available video footage of the incident.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, your lawyer may be able to argue that:

  • The arrest or search was unlawful, and you had the right to resist.

  • You did not use force against the officer, and your actions did not meet the legal definition of resisting arrest.

  • The officer used excessive force, and you were acting in self-defense.

  • There is insufficient evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your attorney will also work to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. In some cases, it may be possible to reach a plea agreement that allows you to avoid a conviction and minimize the consequences of the charge.

Contact a Tarrant County, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Working with a Fort Worth, TX criminal defense attorney promptly can improve the likelihood of a positive result in your case. It is important to note that a charge for resisting arrest does not automatically mean it is a conviction. With the right legal strategy and advocacy, you can fight back against these serious allegations and protect your rights, freedom, and future. Call The Dameron Law Firm at 817-222-0624 for a free consultation with a lawyer who brings 20+ years of experience.

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