Resisting arrest is unfortunately one of the most common misdemeanor charges brought in Tarrant County. Many overzealous prosecutors and police officers pursue resisting arrest charges as a retaliatory means of punishing an individual for questioning a police officer’s authority. A conviction for resisting arrest has the ability to completely alter your future, creating immense difficulties with obtaining a job, applying for financial aid, attending school, seeking child custody or requesting government benefits. In addition, resisting arrest carries potential jail time and exorbitant fines. In order to effectively combat allegations of resisting arrest, it is crucial that you seek the representation of an attorney experienced in handling resisting arrest cases and has actual courtroom experience handling resisting arrest charges.
I have dedicated my entire career to criminal justice and currently, in fighting for the rights of the accused. In fact, I began with the District Attorney’s Office in Collin and Tarrant County, bringing misdemeanor and felony cases before judges and juries. After trying countless cases as a prosecutor, I opened my boutique criminal defense firm, the Fulgham Law Firm, so that I can help protect my clients’ constitutional rights and interests. My time as a prosecutor has afforded me a rare insight into how the District Attorney’s Office gathers evidence, formulates case theories, and makes decisions regarding plea bargains, diversion, and sentencing recommendations. My knowledge of the criminal justice system, my experience as a prosecutor, and my passion for doggedly advocating on my clients’ behalf sets me apart from other lawyers handling resisting arrest cases.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
The Texas Penal Code §38.03 defines resisting arrest as the act of intentionally preventing or obstructing a police officer from conducting an arrest, search or transport by using force. In addition, the individual resisting arrest does not need to be directly under arrest. Impeding someone else’s arrest, search or transport can result in resisting arrest charges.
The resisting arrest statute is fairly vague, and as such, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department often interprets it quite liberally to involve a host of activities that require very little force. For instance, individuals are often arrested for resisting an officer when they:
- Pull their arms away from the officer during arrest
- Swing their arms to avoid handcuffing
- Elbow the officer
- Struggle with the officer
Penalties for Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest is usually a Class A misdemeanor in Fort Worth. A Class A misdemeanor is a less serious offense that is punishable by a maximum of one year in Tarrant County Jail and a maximum of $4,000 in fines.
However, aggravating factors can increase the potential punishment. For example, resisting arrest becomes a third degree felony when an individual utilizes a deadly weapon to resist an officer.
Defenses to Resisting Arrest
Common defenses against resisting an arrest include:
- You were unaware the police officer was in fact an officer because he was not easily identifiable, e.g., did not identify himself as an officer or was not in uniform.
- You were acting in self-defense because the police officer assaulted you.
- The police officer did not have probable cause to arrest you for anything.
Fort Worth Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney Prepared to Aggressively Fight for Your Rights
My main priority is to help you fight for your legal rights and to minimize, if not completely dismiss, the charges being sought against you. This involves tailoring my representation to your needs, goals, and best interests. To begin crafting a strategy for attacking the prosecution’s evidence, call the Fulgham Law Firm today at (817) 886-3078.