Very few people are actually prepared to be placed under arrest. There are, however, a few things that you should keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation, as failing to comply with certain orders could result in additional charges of resisting arrest. We also all have certain rights when being detained and a law enforcement officer’s failure to recognize these rights can have significant implications for later criminal proceedings, including the possible dismissal of your case due to a lack of evidence. To learn more about what you can expect when being detained by the police in Texas, or for help proving that your rights were violated, please reach out to our experienced Houston criminal defense lawyers today.
What Qualifies as Resisting Arrest?
In Texas, there are strict laws and penalties surrounding arrest proceedings and failing to comply with these rules can have severe repercussions. Under Texas law, a person can be charged with resisting arrest if he or she uses force against a police officer, or intentionally obstructs or prevents an officer from:
- Carrying out an arrest;
- Carrying out a lawful search; or
- Lawfully transporting someone.
In most cases, resisting arrest is charged as a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a hefty fine. This charge can, however, be enhanced to a third degree felony if a person allegedly used a weapon during the incident. Those who are accused of resisting arrest also often face additional and related charges, including charges of a failure to identify, which occurs when someone provides the police with false contact information or refuses to state his or her name and date of birth.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Being Arrested
A person’s actions when being detained by police officers can make all the difference between additional charges and a possible dismissal. Staying calm, for instance, is of the utmost importance. Although being arrested can be frightening and traumatizing, it is critical for those who find themselves in this situation to attempt to focus on the moment without letting their emotions get the better of them. It’s also important to know your rights. For example, when being detained, a person has the right to remain silent, which means that if a police officer asks questions, he or she can decline answering those questions without a lawyer present.
It’s also not a bad idea to have a lawyer’s information on hand, as well as the emergency contact information of a loved one, as this can allow a detainee to begin working on his or her release as soon as possible. Finally, it is critical for those who are being detained by the police to avoid arguing or getting physical at all costs, as any evidence of this kind of behavior can be used against them in court.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges?
Even someone who is eventually found innocent of the charges that led to his or her arrest can end up being convicted of resisting arrest. For help defending yourself against these, and other charges, please call (281) 280-0100 and speak with one of the dedicated Houston criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today.