standard Texas Evading Arrest Can Be A Misdemeanor Or Felony

In Texas Evading Arrest can be either a Third Degree Felony, a State Jail Felony or a Class A Misdemeanor. The determining factors include how the accused is charged with evading and if the accused has prior convictions for Evading Arrest.

A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him. This is often done on foot. For example, a policeman attempts to detain a suspect walking away from the scene a burglary of a habitation. The suspect runs and the policeman chases and catches the suspect. If t has not prior convictions of Evading Arrest he would be charged with the Class A Misdemeanor of Evading Arrest. If the suspect has a prior conviction of Evading Arrest, the present Evading Arrest will be a State Jail Felony.

In another scenario, if a policeman attempts to pull over a suspect for speeding and the suspect flees (the suspect may have a warrant or drugs in the car and panics and flees) the charge would then be a State Jail Felony of Evading Arrest. If the suspect had a prior conviction of Evading Arrest then the suspect would be facing a Third Degree Felony.

If someone suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight the charge is then a Third Degree Felony of Evading Arrest. If someone dies as  a result of the Evading Arrest the charge is a Second Degree Felony.

Evading Arrest is found in the Penal Code Section 38.04 and reads as follows:

Sec. 38.04.  EVADING ARREST OR DETENTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is:

(1)  a state jail felony if:

(A)  the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or

(B)  the actor uses a vehicle while the actor is in flight and the actor has not been previously convicted under this section;

(2)  a felony of the third degree if:

(A)  the actor uses a vehicle while the actor is in flight and the actor has been previously convicted under this section; or

(B)  another suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight; or

(3)  a felony of the second degree if another suffers death as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the actor is fleeing to apprehend the actor while the actor is in flight.

(c)  In this section, “vehicle” has the meaning assigned by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.

(d)  A person who is subject to prosecution under both this section and another law may be prosecuted under either or both this section and the other law.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.