Resisting Arrest

Resisting Arrest

Resisting Arrest, involves a person who intentionally prevents or obstructs an officer by using force. Force can be slight, such as pushing away or not yielding to the officer's attempt to arrest -- although there may be defenses associated with very minor force. The statute also requires that the suspect knows he or she is dealing with an officer. Generally, a Resisting Arrest offense is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor.

You can read the specific Statute and also read about the Penalties and Punishments below.


What You Need To Know

There is a fine line between resisting arrest and experiencing a high level of emotional at the realization that a person is going to jail. Often, officers don't make that distinction, especially in the moment. They are worried about being assaulted, creating a spectacle in public, or even being reprimanded over uses of force by a supervisor. Regardless of the reason, a hysterical person being arrested is often different than a person using force against an officer to resist arrest.

Resisting Arrest cases are tough to defend, and prosecutors will not dismiss easily. With Austin Police using body cameras now, prosecutors will often wait for the videos before making any determinations on the case -- which can be detrimental if a person has to wait while in jail. Aside from DWI, these cases often require the longest time to resolve out of Misdemeanors.


Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Resisting Arrest include Evading Arrest, or Failure to Identify which is when a person refuses or fails to identify themselves to law enforcement.

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.


Jail Release and Bond for Resisting Arrest

A person charged with Resisting Arrest is arrested and taken to jail. In jail, the person is forced to await a Judge who will review the case and the person's history, and set a bond amount. In some cases, the Judge will grant a personal bond. If not, or if significant delay occurs, the Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.


Defenses for Resisting Arrest

At one time, there was a valid and often fruitful defense to Resisting: that the arrest itself was unlawful. However, the penal code contains the following subsection, which eliminates such an argument: It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the arrest or search was unlawful.

Defenses often involve a person not knowing that they are interacting with an officer, although this is also rare, since officers are now trained to make it clear, verbally, they are an officer. This is especially true since Austin Police utilizes body cameras that will pickup those statements. Another common defense is that there was no force used.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.


Work with an Experienced Resisting Arrest Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Resisting Arrest cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.


Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.


How We Can Help

Your goal should be Dismissal for any Resisting Arrest charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.


Benefits of Working with Keates Law Firm:

  • Direct Access to Attorney's Email and Cell (Texting Okay!)
  • Robert handles your case, not a junior lawyer
  • Trusted, Local, BBB+
  • Free Case Consultations
  • Low Rates available
  • Transparent Fees - No Unexpected Fees!




Texas Penal Code Sec. 38.03

A person commits an offense if he intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he knows is a peace officer or a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer or another.


What are the Resisting Arrest Punishments?

Resisting Arrest penalties will be a misdemeanor, but will be a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search.


Penalties for Resisting Arrest
Level of Offense Punishment
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

Read More About:



Call for a Free Consultation