Evading arrest (not to be confused with resisting arrest) is the crime of evading an attempt at a lawful detention or arrest by a peace officer. This offense can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Moreover, as long as the detention or arrest itself was lawful, you cannot beat a charge of evading arrest by proving that you were not guilty of the crime for which the officer sought to detain or arrest you.
Evading arrest by fleeing on foot is charged as a misdemeanor as long as this is your first offense. Even a misdemeanor, however, carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Evading arrest is upgraded to a “state jail felony” if you flee arrest using a vehicle. The maximum penalty in such cases is 2 years in a Texas state jail (rather than prison) and a fine of up to $10,000. If you attempt to flee by vehicle and have previously been convicted of evading arrest, the charge will be upgraded to a third degree felony with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If a bystander is injured while you are attempting to flee, you can be charged with a third degree felony, imprisoned for up to 10 years, and fined up to $10,000. This penalty applies even if you did not injure someone yourself – if, for example, the pursuing officer was involved in an injury accident while trying to chase you down. If a death results, the penalties will be even more serious.
In the state of Texas, evading arrest is a crime with potentially lifelong consequences. With a good criminal law attorney, however, you don’t have to simply submit to whatever punishment the prosecutor wants to impose upon you – you can fight back. I am not afraid to stand up to the judicial system on behalf of my clients, and I will relentlessly question your accusers If you have been charged with evading arrest, call Corley Legal, PLLC in San Antonio or Austin and surrounding counties at (210) 444-2889 / (512) 444-2889.