Evading Arrest Detention with Vehicle

Evading Arrest or Detention

You should always cooperate with the police in Texas, especially if they are trying to detain or arrest you. Evading arrest or detention is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Fleeing from the police in a motor vehicle is charged as a felony.

If you have failed to stop for police and have been charged with evading arrest or detention, you need to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. The Austin criminal defense attorneys of Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., have extensive experience representing people who have been charged with evading arrest or detention. We can defend your rights aggressively and take every step available to secure the best possible outcome for you. Contact us by phone at (512) 476-4873 or fill out our online form for a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.

What is the Punishment for Evading Arrest in Texas?

Evading arrest in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor. This means that it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. However, there are some circumstances in which evading arrest can be charged as a felony.

For example, if the person evades arrest in a vehicle and causes serious bodily injury to another person, they could be charged with a state jail felony, which is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

No one should face criminal charges on their own. Prosecutors bring charges to court with the intent to convict and punish defendants.

Evading arrest or detention is charged as a third-degree felony if:

  • The defendant used a motor vehicle or boat to flee and has a previous conviction, or
  • The defendant used a tire deflation device against the pursuing officer, or
  • Someone suffers serious bodily injury because of the officer’s pursuit of the defendant.

Evading arrest or detention is charged as a second-degree felony if someone died because of the officer’s pursuit of the defendant or someone suffered serious bodily injury because of the defendant’s use of a tire deflation device against the officer.

Third- and second-degree felonies can be punished by up to 10 and 20 years in prison, respectively.

Even a misdemeanor conviction will remain on your record and available to the public unless you can have it expunged or sealed. If it is found in a background check, it could adversely affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or attend college, among many other things.

An experienced defense attorney can work to identify the most favorable resolution of the charges available based on the specific facts of the incident. Because our attorneys have worked in local courts and developed working relationships with local prosecutors, the proposals we make for a reduction in charges will receive due consideration.

Why Choose Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. For Your Defense?

For 50 years, the lawyers of Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., have known that the people who walk through our doors are at a turning point in their lives. We understand that they have a right to a robust criminal defense, regardless of the circumstances or the charges against them. That’s why we’re committed to treating clients and prospective clients with respect, compassion, and understanding. We uphold these principles – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is the best way for us to pursue favorable results for our clients.

The defense attorneys who make up our team are all trial lawyers prepared to take on challenging cases. We will pursue every available path to having the charges dropped when possible or to persuade the court to reduce felony charges to a misdemeanor. We thrive in the courtroom and are always ready to defend our clients before judges and juries. Our promise is that if your case must go to trial, we will craft the strongest possible defense on your behalf and fight aggressively for you every step of the way.

How Could I Get Accused of Evading Arrest or Detention From Police?

The Texas Penal Code Section 38.04 says, “A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.”

Typically, a person who runs from the police is charged with evading arrest or detention when apprehended. A defendant may have run on foot from an officer who had somehow signaled for the person to stop or driven off after an officer signaled them to stop by turning on the patrol car’s lights and siren. 

A true violation of the law requires two things of you, the defendant:

  • Your failure to stop must be motivated by your intention to avoid arrest; in other words, you must know you have been told to stop.
  • You must know that the individual who wants you to stop is a law enforcement officer or federal agent.

The law enforcement officer’s attempt to detain or arrest you must be legal, which means they must have reason to stop you. In Texas, police officers may detain you if they reasonably suspect you are engaged in criminal activity. They may also detain you if they believe you have witnessed a crime.

How a Skilled Defense Lawyer Can Benefit Your Case

To obtain a conviction for evading arrest or detention, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally ran from someone you knew to be a law enforcement officer. This usually requires an “affirmative defense,” which requires the defendant to introduce evidence that negates their criminal liability even though their actions fit the element of the crime.

If we can demonstrate to the prosecutor before trial that there is reason to doubt your guilt, we may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. If we go to trial and can establish reasonable doubt about any element of the charges filed against you, the jury should return a verdict of not guilty. 

We may be able to prove your lack of intent if we can present evidence that:

  • You did not see or hear the signal to stop. This may be possible to demonstrate if you were in heavy traffic or among other loud or distracting activities, such as at a large public event. Or, for example, you may have been distracted by a phone call, children, or a pet in your vehicle.
  • You did not know the individual was a law enforcement officer. This may be possible to demonstrate if the officer was in plain clothes and/or an unmarked police car. A patron leaving a Sixth Street bar in Austin who is grabbed from behind or shouted at by a plainclothes officer might react by trying to flee from a potential assailant. A driver worried about road rage incidents might speed away from a vehicle that suddenly changes lanes or speeds up to get closer to them.
  • You eventually did stop and cooperate with the officer. This may depend on how much time or distance there was between when the chase began and when you stopped and whether you stopped or the officer physically stopped you. For example, you may have thought police were pursuing a different vehicle, so you sped up to get out of the way. You may have heard police shouting and initially fled to protect yourself. We may be able to show there were other conditions (health, traffic, weather) that precluded you from stopping promptly.

Your legal team at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey will examine the charges and evidence against you and move to have any disputable evidence excluded from future proceedings. We will use mitigating evidence, such as your eventual cooperation, lack of prior convictions, or circumstances of your arrest, to try to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charges. The sooner you get us involved in your case, the more time we have to develop your defense and rebut the charges against you.

Get Help from a Highly Experienced Lawyer in Evading Arrest or Detention Near You

You can be charged with evading arrest or detention if you react incorrectly to a police officer’s order, but you may not have had the intent required for a conviction under Texas law. You should not face evading arrest charges alone. You should have the representation of an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney. The defense team of Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can investigate the circumstances of your arrest and develop a strong defense for you. We are dedicated to providing skilled criminal defense representation to clients charged in Austin, TX, and throughout Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties. We will work diligently on your case.

Our offices at 1100 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas, are open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact us today at (512) 476-4873 or fill out our online form to set up a confidential consultation with an Austin defense attorney. We strive to respond within the hour or within 24 hours at the latest. Call now.