Evading Arrest in Texas (on foot and in a motor vehicle)

The difference between Evading Arrest on foot, and Evading Arrest in a motor vehicle in Texas. And some tips on what to do to make sure you don’t get arrested!

Hey Everyone, Houston criminal defense lawyer Eric Benavides here.

I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about the differences between evading on foot and evading in a motor vehicle. Now, I get questions from time to time on how these are charged, what the possible consequences are, so I wanted to break it down really quick.

Evading on foot is what you get charged with if the police are trying to talk to you or the police is trying to detain you and you take off running and create a chase on foot. A chase on foot is a class A misdemeanor. The punishment that is possible for a class A misdemeanor is anywhere from one day in jail up to one year in the county jail with a fine up to $4,000. That is a misdemeanor, its in the county courts.

Evading in a motor vehicle is when the police is trying to detain you or pull you over and you lead them on a chase or you refuse to stop. Those are charged as a 3rd degree felony, which is a very serious case that has a range of punishment of a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
They do not look at the facts of the case when they determine what type of felony to put on you. For example, I have a case that I am working on right now where the individual only “evaded” for thirty seconds and less than a mile. He claimed that he did not even know that the officers were behind him and because the officers are saying that he did not pull over fast enough, they charged him with evading. He is charged with a 3rd degree felony, the same way somebody would who led the cops on a two hour chase over a 100 miles per hour, side swiping vehicles. They are charged with the same thing.

It is not fair, but that is just the way the law is.

So my tips for you on this type of case, because I get asked “what should I do if an officer has pulled me over?”. The first thing you want to do is make some sort of indication that you are aware that the officer is behind you. A lot of people will tell me “well, you know…I just don’t want to pull over because ….I mean who wants to pull over on the highway” and “I see stories about people who get read ended and killed on the highway”.

And that is the way I feel also, I wouldn’t want to pull over at night on the highway. So what do you do? You turn on your hazard lights, you turn on your blinker….Do something that you indicate you know that the officer is behind you are looking for a safe place to pull over. It’s ok to take the very first exit and find a parking lot to pull over. Just make sure the officer knows that is what your intent is.

That is just the quick run down of evading cases in Texas. If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me. Again, my name is Eric Benavides, I am a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney and I would be happy to talk to you.