There is no doubt that being arrested is a challenging and difficult situation. When a person is apprehended for suspicion of a crime, certain accusations can be made that have to do with the arrest itself. Even if not charged with the crime for which you were arrested, you could face charges for resisting arrest, evading arrest or failure to identify.

An experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Texas law surrounding arrest can help you fight these allegations. Your constitutional rights may have been violated during your arrest, or you may have been detained based on a simple misunderstanding. In order to establish your motivations and protect your rights, the aid of a lawyer is imperative.

Probable Cause is Required for an Arrest

In order for an officer to receive a warrant to arrest an individual, or to arrest them without a warrant, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution requires that they must have what is called "probable cause" of criminal activity. This means that there must be a certain amount of compelling evidence to support the suspected offender's arrest.

Probable cause is established through objective, factual circumstance, not “gut-feelings” or suspicions. This means that an officer cannot arrest someone based purely on a hunch or how a person looks. A general requirement would be a level of proof that is more than just suspicion but does not have to prove the person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Once a warrant has been issued for an individual, however, that person can be arrested at any time.

What Does a Charge of Resisting Arrest Include?

Facing an arrest is an incredibly stressful and emotional event. If an alleged offender provides unnecessary problems for the arresting officers, they may be charged with resisting arrest. This offense covers a range of scenarios, including attempting to flee from an officer while he or she is attempting to take you into custody, fighting with law enforcement, or generally being unwilling to cooperate.

Whether the charge is the result of a misunderstanding or a moment of heightened emotion, it carries serious consequences. In addition to the underlying charge for which a person was being arrested, resisting arrest constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, which carries the potential for up to 1 year in prison and up to $4,000 in fines. Depending on the nature of the offense, it can even interfere with auto insurance rates, as one may be labeled a high-risk client.

What is Evading Arrest?

Evading arrest is a charge often used in situations involving motor vehicles, but it can also apply to those on foot. This offense occurs when an individual intentionally flees from law enforcement officials to avoid being arrested or searched. 

Those who attempt to outrun police cars sometimes face this offense, but it can also be the result of a misunderstanding. With so many distractions in our vehicles and cars more sound-proof than ever, it is becoming increasingly understandable for an individual to simply fail to notice an officer's signal to pull over. In addition any other violations, a disgruntled officer may add on a charge of evading arrest even though that was not your intention. In such a scenario, an attorney can help establish your motives, which are key to fighting this offense.

The Definition of “Failure to Identify”

Texas law requires that a person who has been lawfully detained must provide their name, address, and/or date of birth to the arresting officer. If an alleged offender does not comply, they may face a charge of "failure to identify". This offense can occur when a person intentionally refuses to provide te request information, or willfully provides false information.

This charge can be classified as a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor, all of which carry the potential for jail time or fines. It is important to note that this law only applies to those who have been legally detained, meaning that law enforcement must have reason to suspect that the person has committed or is in the process of committing a crime in order to detain them and demand this information. This offense frequently accompanies another charge, and a qualified attorney can help defend you against this unwelcome addition to your challenging situation.

Brent Hardy knows that an aggressive approach is necessary to defend you against criminal allegations and to defend your rights. The Texas legal system can be confusing and overwhelming, but he is willing to accept the most challenging of cases and help his clients through every step of the process.

Call The Law Office of Brent R. Hardy today at (210) 415-6662 to schedule your free consultation.