Is it a felony to evade arrest?
You never planned to evade arrest, but you got nervous when a police officer turned on the flashing lights behind your car. You didn’t want to stop, and the officer had to turn around to give pursuit, so you decided to speed up and see if you could get away from them.
The chase did not last for long, and the police eventually were able to stop your car and you were arrested. Is this going to result in felony charges or just misdemeanor charges?
There are many factors in play
When it comes to evading arrest, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. In the case described above, it is already a felony on the grounds that you were in a motor vehicle when you attempted to flee from the police. It’s also a felony to do so in a watercraft, such as a boat.
If you were on foot, however, then evading arrest would generally just lead to misdemeanor charges. Perhaps the police were attempting to stop you after witnessing a crime, and you ran into an ally to get away. This may just be a misdemeanor if that’s all that happened.
However, even evading the police on foot can become a felony if you’ve been convicted of it in the past or if there are other aggravating factors.
Were you really trying to flee?
One thing to keep in mind is that the police have to prove that you had an intent to flee from them when you were evading arrest. Perhaps you just didn’t see the police car turn the lights on in the first place, and you never heard the siren. You weren’t running from the police. You were simply driving on to your destination and you didn’t know that they were trying to stop you. If that was the case, you can use it as a defense to claim that you never meant to commit either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Exploring all of your options
It’s safe to say that this is a very serious situation to find yourself in in Texas, so make sure you know about all of the legal defense options at your disposal.