The Dos and Don'ts of Detainment in Texas
Most people think they know how they would react if they were ever detained or arrested by law enforcement. However, if the moment comes, they might find they were wrong. Worse yet, they could end up with an additional criminal charge of resisting arrest. Your actions and cooperation with the police can significantly impact the outcome of your arrest and charges. Typically, arrestees who are peaceful and cooperative and looked upon more favorably by the courts. On the other hand, those that are uncooperative, run away, or even violent are not doing themselves any favors.
Whether you think you might face an arrest soon, do not understand your current resisting arrest charges, or are merely curious, here is what you should and should not do when law enforcement officers are detaining you.
If you remember nothing else, this is the thing to remember. Always stay calm. Being detained by the police is no less than upsetting and traumatizing for most Texans. Your fight or flight instincts may kick in, causing you to act in ways you never saw yourself acting. It is easy and natural to let your emotions take over; you will need to make a conscious effort to fight this self-defeating reaction. As much as you can, relax and stay calm through the entirety of your encounter with the police. Take deep breaths if you need to, and remember that you do not want to end up with any more legal problems.
No matter what situations you encounter in life, it is always better if you are prepared. The potential for detainment is no different. It is a good idea to have the contact information for an experienced Round Rock criminal defense attorney on hand just in case. After your immediate arrest, you will be able to quickly take action to protect yourself by securing legal representation.
Know Your Rights
Never forget that you still have rights, even when you are accused of a crime and are arrested. At the time of your encounter with police and arrest, the most crucial right for you to remember and understand is your right to remain silent. Also commonly called Miranda Rights, you are not required to say anything without your Round Rock criminal defense attorney by your side. Tell the officers that you are invoking your right to remain silent and you want a lawyer.
Refrain from Physical Force Violence or Running Away
Just as the term "fight or flight" insinuates, you may feel a deep urge to fight if you are being arrested. You should never use physical force or violence against an officer of the law when they are trying to detain you. Even if you know your arrest is a mistake or you are being treated unfairly, reacting with physical force is only a guarantee that the situation will quickly become much worse for you.
Likewise, you might also feel the immediate urge to run away. However, if you act on this urge, you are guaranteed to compound your existing criminal charges. You may also sustain an injury or cause other officers to do so. Stay where you are and remain calm.
Do Not Argue
Being wrong in any situation brings up an innate impulse to argue, especially in situations where the stakes are high. Do not argue with the police. Police officers are not jury members. Whether you are being arrested on an outstanding warrant or not, you are not going to change the officers' minds.
Arguing will not help and will likely only make the entire circumstance more challenging. Arguing could make limit your Round Rock criminal defense attorney's ability to defend you against your charges. Remember that if you are wronged during your arrest, be it a wrongful arrest or mistreatment, you will have recourse and an avenue to right these wrongs.
What is Resisting Arrest?
Texas law defines resisting arrest as deliberately obstructing or preventing a peace officer from conducting an arrest, lawful search, or the transportation of a person. Physical force falls under the umbrella of resisting arrest.
Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor that could result in a one-year jail sentence and fines as much as $4,000. However, suppose a deadly weapon is used to resist an arrest or search. In that case, it can be upgraded to a third-degree felony charge. If convicted of a third-degree felony, you could face as many as ten years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000
You can also be charged for:
Evading arrest or if another person is seriously or fatally injured because of your attempts at resisting arrest. If someone dies, you will face a felony in the second degree. If convicted, you could face fines up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of at least two and 20 years.
Failing to identify yourself or providing false identification to a police officer—any time you are engaging with law enforcement, it is critical to be vigilant and only the information you are required to provide. Under the law, you must give them your name, address, and birthdate if you are under lawful arrest. Suppose you are being interviewed or detained but are not under arrest. In that case, the law does not mandate that you disclose your identity.
Do You Need a Seasoned Round Rock Criminal Defense Attorney? We Are Here For You
Being detained by law enforcement or arrested can come as quite a surprise, even if you expect it. You may face temptations to act in ways you might not otherwise act. If you give in to these temptations, you could make your situation much worse. Have you been arrested? Do you know there is a warrant for your arrest? Do you have questions about Texas's criminal defense laws? You can receive thorough and reliable answers to your questions and information from a Round Rock criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard. Legal problems do not wait, and neither should you. Receive the help you need today by contacting us online or calling 254-501-4040.