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Evading Arrest

People can be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer when they willfully fail or refuse to bring a motor vehicle to a stop after being given a visual or audible signal to do so by a pursuing police vehicle, and alleged offenders commit the offense of resisting arrest when they intentionally prevent or obstruct police officers from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the alleged offender or another person by using force against the peace officer. Both fleeing to elude and resisting arrest are usually misdemeanor offenses, and the crime of evading arrest or detention can also be a misdemeanor although any use of a motor vehicle while the alleged offender is in flight makes this a felony offense.

Evading arrest is codified in the Texas Penal Code under the obstructing governmental operation chapter of offenses against public administration. Prosecutors takes these criminal charges very seriously and will seek very stiff sentences for the people accused of these crimes.

Lawyer for Evading Arrest in Fort Worth, TX

If you have been charged with allegedly evading arrest or detention anywhere in the greater DFW area, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients charged with all kinds of traffic crimes in such communities in Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County as Arlington, Weatherford, Fort Worth, Cleburne, and many other surrounding areas.

Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes can fight to possibly have your criminal charges minimized or completely eliminated. They can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call 817-502-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Tarrant County Evading Arrest Information Center


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Evading Arrest Charges in Texas

A person commits the offense of evading arrest of detention under Texas Penal Code § 38.04 if he or she intentionally flees from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him. Evading arrest is typically a Class A misdemeanor, but the offense becomes a state jail felony if the alleged offender was previously convicted of this crime.

Evading arrest is a third-degree felony if:

  • The alleged offender used a vehicle while he or she was in flight;
  • Another person suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the alleged offender was fleeing to apprehend the alleged offender while he or she was in flight; or
  • The alleged offender uses a tire deflation device—defined as “a device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that, when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle's tires, although the term does not include a traffic control device that is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle's tires when driven over in a specific direction and has a clearly visible sign posted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device—against the officer while the alleged offender is in flight.

If another person suffers death as a direct result of an attempt by the officer from whom the alleged offender is fleeing to apprehend the alleged offender while the alleged offender is in flight, or another person suffers serious bodily injury as a direct result of the alleged offender's use of a tire deflation device while the alleged offender is in flight, evading arrest becomes a second-degree felony.


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Tarrant County Evading Arrest Penalties

A person who is convicted of evading arrest in Texas can receive a harsh sentence. Depending on how the alleged offense is classified, a conviction can be punishable by the following maximum sentences:

  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000; 
  • State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; or 
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.

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Texas Evading Arrest Resources

Traffic | Fort Worth, Texas Police Department (FWPD) — Visit this section of the FWPD website to learn more about the Traffic Division. You can find information about the four sections of this division, including the Traffic Investigation Unit, Radar and Freeway Units, Midnight Shift, and Motorcycle Unit. You can also learn more about the FWPD’s commercial vehicle enforcement and mounted patrol.

Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX 76115
(817) 392-4200

How long can police detain you? | Flex Your Rights — Flex Your Rights is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization that believes “people must be prepared to intelligently ‘flex’ their constitutional rights during contacts with police.” The organization produces various types of know-your-rights media content. On this website, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about traffic stops, police encounters at your door, and other general questions.


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Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Evading Arrest Defense Attorney

Have you been charged in the DFW area with allegedly evading arrest or detention? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC today.

Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who represent residents and visitors who were arrested in Weatherford, Cleburne, Arlington, Fort Worth, or any one of a number of other nearby communities in Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County. Call 817-502-3600 or submit an online form to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


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