Texas law criminalizes resisting arrest, search, or transportation by a police officer. This piece outlines what constitutes resisting arrest charges, the potential penalties, and the role of a criminal defense lawyer.

Resisting Arrest Defense Attorneys in Georgetown, TX

Legal troubles can be overwhelming, but a strong defense can help someone achieve a favorable outcome given the circumstances of the case. The criminal defense attorneys at Price & Twine, PLLC are experienced with defending individuals accused of resisting arrest and other violent crimes. Our firm serves the communities of Georgetown, Round Rock, Liberty Hill, Granger, Leander and throughout Williamson County Texas. Our firm also represents defendants in Bell County Texas including the communities of Killeen and Temple. Michael Price and James Twine are committed to protecting the rights of their clients and fighting for their interests. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime, don’t leave your case to chance. Contact our firm today at (512) 354-1880 to set up a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

Resisting Arrest Information Center

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The Core Elements of Texas’ Resisting Arrest Law

According to Section 38.03 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual commits an offense if they intentionally obstruct an individual they know is a police officer (or someone acting on behalf of the officer) from executing an arrest, search, or transportation. The key elements here are “intentionally” and “using force,” meaning the obstruction must be deliberate, and force must be used against the officer or another individual.

No Defense For Unlawful Arrest Or Search

An interesting aspect of this law is that it doesn’t matter if the initial arrest or search was unlawful. Texas law states that an individual cannot use the illegality of the arrest or search as a defense. In other words, even if one believes the arrest is not justified, resisting it is still a crime according to Texas law.

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Texas law categorizes the offense as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. However, if a deadly weapon is used to resist the arrest or search, the offense escalates to a felony of the third degree punishable by 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

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Lack Of Intent As A Defense

The first specific defense is questioning the intent. The law states that the person commits an offense if they “intentionally” obstruct an officer. If one can prove that the action was not intentional but rather accidental or out of reflex, this could serve as a viable defense.

Lack Of Knowledge Of Officer’s Identity

Another specific defense might be that the person didn’t know they were obstructing a police officer. The person has to know that the individual they are obstructing is a police officer or someone acting on behalf of the officer. Therefore, if it can be proven that the individual was not aware that the person was an officer, this could be a defense.

Disputing The Use Of Force

The law also states that an offense occurs when force is used against the officer or another person. A defense could focus on disputing whether force was actually used.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Constitutes “Resisting Arrest” Under Texas Law?

“Resisting arrest” refers to intentionally preventing or obstructing a person, whom the individual knows is a police officer, from carrying out an arrest, search, or transportation.

Is It Still An Offense If The Arrest Or Search Was Unlawful?

Yes, Texas law makes it clear that the legality of the initial arrest or search is not a defense for resisting arrest.

Can Ignorance Of The Officer’s Identity Be A Defense?

If it can be proven that the individual was not aware they were obstructing a police officer, then this could serve as a potential defense.

What Does “Intentionally” Mean In This Context?

The statute indicates that the act of resisting must be “intentional,” implying it is done with a specific purpose to obstruct.

Can I Defend Myself By Claiming I Didn’t Use Force?

The use of force is an essential element under this law. If the individual did not use force while resisting, it could be a viable defense.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged Under Section 38.03?

If one finds themselves charged under Texas law, consulting qualified criminal defense lawyers is vital.

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Additional Resources

Texas Penal Code – Texas statute on offenses against public administration, including resisting arrest.

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Price & Twine, PLLC Resisting Arrest Lawyers

If you’re facing a resisting arrest charge, choosing the right attorney can make all the difference. At Price & Twine, PLLC, our criminal defense lawyers have a track record of protecting clients’ rights and helping clients get their cases resolved on favorable grounds.  Call Price & Twine, PLLC at (512) 354-1880 for a consultation about your case.