Evading Police. How Serious Is It?
Posted on Mar 21, 2014 2:02pm UTC
Last night, Houston police had to use spike strips to put an end to a motor vehicle chase. Police say that the suspect refused to stop their vehicle after police attempted to pull the driver over for a traffic violation. After the driver ran over the spike strip, it spun off the road and crashed on West Mount Houston and Bayou. The driver was arrested at the scene and booked on felony evasion charges.
“Evading Arrest or Detention” is a violation of § 38.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Depending on the exact nature of the offense, this can be charged as a class B misdemeanor, state jail felony, a third degree felony, or a second degree felony.
In its simplest form, the class B misdemeanor of evading police is charged when an individual knowingly and intentionally flees from someone they recognize is a police officer that is attempting to lawfully arrest or detain him/her.
Any time evading a police involves a motor vehicle, the charge automatically escalates to a state jail felony. A person who has never before been convicted of evading and uses a motor vehicle to evade an arrest or detention will face a state jail felony charge.
An individual can be charged with a third degree felony if:
- A vehicle was used to evade AND the individual has been convicted of evading before; or
- Evading using a motor vehicle directly results in serious bodily injury to another.
And finally, the most serious type of evading charge is a second degree felony. This type of charge is only warranted when evading an arrest or detention by using a motor vehicle directly results in the death of another.
Were you charged with evading arrest or detention in violation of § 38.04 of the Texas Penal Code? Contact a Houston criminal defense attorney at Billy Skinner & Associates today for a free case evaluation to see how we could help.