Resisting Arrest is defined by Texas Penal Code Section 38.03. A person commits the offense of Resisting Arrest if they
(1) intentionally prevents or obstructs,
(2) a peace officer or a person acting at a peace officer’s direction,
(3) from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation,
(4) by using force against the peace officer or another
In most cases Resisting Arrest is a Class A Misdemeanor with a range of punishment from 0 days to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $4,000. If a deadly weapon was used in the commission of the offense, Resisting Arrest is a Third Degree Felony.
Sometimes officers use Resisting Arrest as a catchall for anything that makes the act of effectuating an arrest more difficult. The offense is not that broad. Resisting Arrest requires the use of force and that force must be directed at or against the officer. This means that acts of turning around or pulling away may not constitute Resisting Arrest.
Another common issue in prosecuting a person for Resisting Arrest is proving the existence of an actual arrest. A person does not commit the offense of Resisting Arrest when they are merely resisting some sort of police action that does constitute an arrest, search or transport.
By the very nature of the offense, individuals charged with Resisting Arrest are likely facing at least one other charge. In situations like this it can feel like problems are compounding problems. This does not have to be the case. If you have been charged with Resisting Arrest, contact our office for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.