What is the penalty for Resisting Arrest in Texas?

This page deals with Section 38.09 of the Texas Penal code. This chapter in the state's penal code deals with offenses ranging from contacting a victim after the fact, attempting to escape after being detained, or resisting arrest. Though penalties vary depending on the incident, we'll explain what the Texas penal code actual says on the matter. Links below provide the up to date authoritative sources.

Table of Contents

Before we begin, note that the state’s official chapter in the penal code for these offenses can be located here. If you are struggling to understand some of the language or terms on this page, please consult Sec. 38.01 of the previous link which includes a list of definitions. Note that as states may use the same terms in different ways, it is important to double-check how the official penal code uses the term. Remember to consult our breakout of the different types and penalties for misdemeanors and felonies as defined by Texas Law.

Penalty for Failure to Identify

A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information. A person also commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person, lawfully detained the person, or requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.

Penalty for Resisting Arrest

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. It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the arrest or search was unlawful. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search.

Penalty for Evading Arrest or Detention

A person commits a crime if they intentionally run away from a peace officer or federal investigator who is trying to arrest them. The offense is usually a Class A misdemeanor, but can be a felony if the person has been convicted of this before, uses a vehicle or watercraft while running away, or if someone is seriously hurt or dies as a result of the officer trying to catch the person.

Hindering Arrest or Prosecution

This means that someone is trying to stop the police from arresting them or from taking them to court. A person commits an offense if, with the intent to prevent someone’s arrest, prosecution, or punishment for an offense, or to prevent a child from being arrested, detained, or punished for engaging in delinquent conduct, the person:

-hides or helps to hide the other person
-gives the other person a way to avoid being arrested or escape
-tells the other person about an upcoming discovery or arrest

Escape

A person commits an offense if the person escapes from custody when the person is under arrest for, lawfully detained for, charged with, or convicted of an offense; in custody pursuant to a lawful order of a court; detained in a secure detention facility, as that term is defined by Section 51.02, Family Code; or in the custody of a juvenile probation officer for violating an order imposed by the juvenile court under Section 52.01, Family Code. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor is under arrest for, charged with, or convicted of a felony; is confined or lawfully detained in a secure correctional facility or law enforcement facility; or is committed to or lawfully detained in a secure correctional facility, as defined by Section 51.02, Family Code, other than a halfway house, operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, in which case the offense is a felony of the third degree. An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree if the actor to effect his escape causes bodily injury. An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if to effect his escape the actor causes serious bodily injury or uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon.

Helping Someone Escape

The punishment for helping someone escape from a correctional facility depends on the situation. If the person who escaped was only arrested for or charged with a felony, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. If the person who escaped was already convicted of a felony, the offense is a felony of the third degree. If the person who escaped was in a secure correctional facility after being convicted of a felony, the offense is a felony of the second degree. If the person who escaped used or threatened to use a deadly weapon, the offense is also a felony of the second degree.

Implements For Escape

A person commits an offense if, with intent to help someone escape, they introduce a weapon or anything else that could be useful for escape into a correctional facility. The offense is a felony of the third degree unless the person introduced or provided a deadly weapon, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree.

Bail Jumping and Failure to Appear

If you are arrested and released on bail, you are required to appear in court on the date specified. If you do not appear, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you may be subject to additional charges.

A person who is lawfully released from custody, with or without bail, on the condition that they subsequently appear, commits an offense if they intentionally or knowingly fail to appear in accordance with the terms of their release. This is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense for which the person’s appearance was required is punishable by fine only, in which case it is a Class C misdemeanor, or if the offense for which the person’s appearance was required is classified as a felony, in which case it is a felony of the third degree.

Improper Contact With A Victim

This section (38.111) deals with improper contact with a victim. This is somebody made physical contact with a person who didn’t want them to.

A person who is in a correctional facility after being charged with or convicted of a crime cannot contact the victim of that crime or the victim’s family without first getting written and dated consent from the victim or, if the victim was under 18 at the time of the crime, from the victim’s parent, legal guardian, or another family member who is over 18. If the person in the correctional facility contacts the victim or victim’s family without this consent, it is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the person was convicted of a felony, in which case it is a felony of the third degree.

Bringing Contraband Into A Correctional Facility

A person commits an offense if the person provides contraband to an inmate of a correctional facility; otherwise introduces contraband into a correctional facility; or possesses contraband while confined in a correctional facility.

This is a Class C Misdemeanor.