Evading Arrest or Detention in Texas

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Posted on: September 21, 2016
Austin Evading Arrest or Detention Attorney – Austin Evading Arrest or Detention Lawyer
 
 
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Evading Arrest or Detention can be found in Texas Penal Code § 38.04.  Evading arrest or detention is a pretty straight forward offense.  A person commits the offense of evading arrest or detention when he intentionally flees from a person he knows is peace officer who is attempting lawfully arrest or detain him.
 
Evading arrest or detention is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in the county jail and fine not to exceed $10,000, if he does it on foot.  It is a state jail  felony, punishable by 6 months to 2 years in the State Jail, day for day, and a $10,000 fine, if the person evades by foot and has a prior conviction for evading by foot.  
 
Evading arrest or detention is a 3rd degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Correction, and a $10,000 fine, if the person flees while in a vehicle.  It is a felony of the 2nd degree if someone dies as a result of evading in a vehicle.
 
We have seen a huge spike in this crime in the last several years particularly in areas near Fort Hood.  A lot of folks in the military are committing this offense on motorcycles.  I am not really clear why there is a huge spike, thought it appears to be attributable to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I have represented over a dozen soldiers in the last several years for this offense in Bell Williamson Counties.
 
The most common successful reductions for evading arrest or detention we get short of a straight dismissal are Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer and Reckless Driving.  Both of these offenses are usually class B misdemeanors.  
 
A person commits the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer if the person operates a motor vehicle and willfully fails or refuses to bring the vehicle to a stop or flees, or attempts to elude, a pursuing police vehicle when given a visual or audio signal to bring the vehicle to a stop.
 
As mentioned above, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer is a class b misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and fine not to exceed $2,000.  This is far better than the 3rd degree felony that evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle is.  If person flees or attempts to elude a police officer while intoxicated, the offense is bumped up to a class A misdemeanor, thus making it punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.
 
Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.  While technically a class B misdemeanor, reckless driving is punishable by up to only 30 days in the county jail and fine of only up to $200. 
 
While it is possible to get an evading arrest or detention reduced to these misdemeanors or dismissed, it is going to depend on your specific circumstances.  During plea negotiations, the prosecutor is going to look at how long the evading lasted in both terms of distance and time.  The prosecutor is going to look at what speeds the evade took place.  The prosecutor is going to look at what roads the evade took place on.  The prosecutor is going to look at what the traffic conditions were like when the evade took place. The longer, more dangerous the evading arrest or detention the less likely the chance you will get a reduction or dismissal.  If the strip spikes were used to stop your vehicle, the less likely the chance you will get a reduction.  
 

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