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Evading arrest on foot without prior convictions under no extenuating circumstances will typically be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. However, evading arrest can easily be charged as a state jail felony or third degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

You can be charged with evading arrest if you willfully run from a police officer that is attempting to arrest or detain you for a crime or questioning.

If you have been charged with evading arrest in a vehicle, call Houston lawyer Samuel M. Gardner at (713) 489-2358 today.


To be charged with evading arrest, the prosecution must prove every one of the following:

  • First, the defendant must have been aware he was being detained or arrested. Arrest means the defendant was being held for suspicious involvement in a crime and is subsequently unable to leave the scene. Detaining a subject is akin to getting pulled over for a traffic violation; the individual in question is not free to go.
  • The prosecution must also prove the defendant’s impending arrest was lawful, the defendant knew the officer was a member of the police force, and that he or she was the individual who had committed the crime.


The defendant will be charged with a state jail felony if he/she has been previously convicted of evading arrest. The same charge applies if the defendant used a vehicle to make their escape. Defendants will be charged with a third degree-felony if they escape in a vehicle and they have a prior conviction for evading arrest. If any third parties suffer bodily injury, death, or property damage, the charges will be increased. If the defendant has a minor in the car, charges will again be compounded.

A state jail felony is punishable with either a probation period that lasts up to five years, placement in a state jail for a period between six months and two years, or a county jail from 24 hours to a year. County jail placement will still go on your record as a felony, but county jails have special provisions that can reduce sentence time for exemplary behavior.

Third-degree felonies can result in a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.


Defendants can often claim they didn’t know the police officer was interested in them specifically. This is especially true in large, complex crime scenes with multiple parties present.

A red flag that the prosecution has a weak case is when the only charge directed at the defendant is evading arrest. An officer needs a good reason to declare that a citizen is being detained or under arrest. Without an additional charge, the question often raised is: were the police officer’s actions lawful?

Make sure you have a capable lawyer backing you up when telling your story in court. Contact your criminal lawyer in Houston, TX at (713) 489-2358.


Take a look at our results.
  • Not Guilty Charged with Murder
  • Not Guilty Charged with Assault & Battery
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
  • Case No Billed Felony Theft
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of Controlled Substance Less Than 1 Gram
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Evading Arrest
  • Dismissed Accused of Theft $1500 – $20,000
  • Motion to Suppress Granted / Dismissed Accused of Possession of Marijuana
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon

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