Taking a Closer Look at Resisting Arrest in Texas

hands in handcuffs

You probably know that it is illegal to resist arrest, but you may not realize what all this entails in the State of Texas. There is a lot to consider, so let’s take a closer look, and if you find yourself facing a charge of resisting arrest – or anything else – do not put off consulting with an experienced Round Rock criminal lawyer.

The Police Are Not without Constraints

When it comes to making arrests, Texas police officers do face constraints. Anytime that an officer takes someone into custody, he or she is required to do so lawfully and properly. There are, in fact, wide-ranging rules that the police must follow when they make arrests, and when they fail to do so, defendants who are charged with resisting arrest may have legal recourse.

(Fleeing from the police is a crime in Texas. The crime is known as “evading arrest.” To learn more about evading arrest read this article: When Can I Be Charged with Evading Arrest in Texas?)

The Rules the Police Must Follow

A police officer can only legally arrest you if at least one of the following applies:

  • The officer is in possession of a warrant for your arrest that was issued by a judge.

  • The officer has probable cause to believe that you committed a crime.

  • The officer was a first-hand witness of you committing a crime.

If the officer does, indeed, have the legal right to arrest you, he or she must proceed with the arrest without employing force that is either excessive or unnecessary. In fact, the intent is that officers should employ the least force necessary to safely arrest you or anyone else.

The Level of Force

The level of force an officer is allowed to use to take a suspect into custody increases in direct relation to the level of aggression the suspect employs in his or her efforts to fight back. If, for example, a defendant is attacking the arresting officer with his or her fists, the officer has the right to protect himself or herself from the blows but is also responsible for making sure the defendant does not sustain unreasonable injuries as a result of his or her own combativeness.

Do Not Resist Arrest

If an officer believes that he or she has the right to arrest you – regardless of whether or not he or she actually does – you are not going to convince said officer otherwise, and it can be dangerous to try. In this sense, you really do not have the right to resist arrest. If you are arrested falsely or illegally, however, you can attempt to sort it out in a court of law after the fact. In the moment, however, acquiescing to the arrest as calmly and cooperatively as you possibly can is always the best practice.

Discuss Your Case with a Round Rock Criminal Lawyer Today

If you are facing a charge of resisting arrest, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Round Rock, Texas, is a well-respected criminal lawyer whose practice focuses on successfully resolving cases like yours. To learn more, please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.

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