Fort Worth Evading Arrest Lawyer
Sometimes when a person sees a police officer, their first instinct is to flee, even if that person has not done anything wrong. However, it is usually better to stay calm and follow the directions of law enforcement officers during an encounter, as the government defines any attempt to evade or escape the police as a crime separate from whatever the police may be pursuing you for in the first place. If the police have accused you of running away during an attempted arrest or detainment, you may need the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Even if you did not commit any other crime, a conviction for evading arrest may leave you facing jail time and fines nonetheless.
Contact a Fort Worth evading arrest lawyer to see what options may be available to you. There are rules the government must follow and rights you have that they must respect in order to convict you of a crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in evading arrest cases could fight tirelessly to ensure proper and fair treatment occur throughout your case.
What Defines Evading Arrest?
According to Texas Penal Code §38.04, it is a criminal offense for a person to knowingly and purposefully flee from a member of law enforcement or a federal special investigator who is attempting to arrest or detain them in a lawful manner. This means that in order to convict someone on charges of evading arrest, the prosecutor must show that:
- The arrested person ran away on purpose and not by accident
- The arrested person knew the person trying to carry out the arrest was a police officer or federal agent
- The arrest was lawful
If any of these elements are not present, attempts at conviction may fail. A strategic Fort Worth evading arrest attorney could work to contest a prosecutor’s claims that a defendant’s actions fulfilled these criteria.
Penalties for an Evading Arrest Conviction
If a person has no previous arrests, did not use a vehicle during the flight, and did not injure anyone, then a basic evading arrest charge is a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense may be upgraded to a third-degree, state jail felony if the court had previously convicted that person of evading arrest, or if they used a boat or car in the process of fleeing.
The government can also charge someone with a third-degree felony if they or any pursing officer injured someone during the attempted flight. It is a second-degree felony if someone dies as a result of the attempted flight. An evading arrest lawyer in Fort Worth could offer further clarification about the differences between these charges and which one might apply given the circumstances of a particular case.
Seek Out a Fort Worth Evading Arrest Attorney
No matter why the police accused you of trying to run away from them, you may require aid from a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with the local rules and laws regarding these types of actions. Depending on the nature of your charges, you may be at risk of spending years in jail and having a permanent criminal record.
If you are charged with trying to avoid an arresting police officer or federal agent, you may be well-served by speaking with a Fort Worth evading arrest lawyer. Do not leave your freedom, rights, and future up to chance. Get experienced help today by calling on qualified legal counsel.