Former Dallas Cowboy and Oakland Raider running back Darren McFadden was sentenced to four days in jail on February 20, 2020, in a Collin County courtroom. A two-time runner up for the Heisman Trophy, McFadden was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and resisting arrest in McKinney, Texas in January 2019.
According to media reports, McFadden was arrested after falling asleep in the driver's seat of a 2019 GMC Yukon in the drive-thru of a McKinney Whataburger. When employees inside the restaurant noticed McFadden asleep in the drive-thru line, they called police.
Upon arriving at the scene, police made contact with McFadden while he was still in his vehicle in the drive-thru. According to police, McFadden refused to exit his vehicle and a struggle ensued. During the course of the struggle, media reports suggest the driver's side window of McFadden's vehicle was broken.
After taking McFadden into custody, police charged him with DWI and resisting arrest. In the time since, the case has worked its way through the criminal justice system. On February 20, McFadden pled guilty as part of a negotiated plea bargain. McFadden agreed to serve four days in county jail as his penalty for the DWI conviction. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charge of resisting arrest.
When Resisting Complicates a DWI Case
If you have been arrested for DWI, the circumstances you are in are already complicated. Resisting arrest could put you in substantially more legal jeopardy. In the case of McFadden, the additional resisting arrest charge likely resulted in what is a fairly steep jail term for a first-offense DWI.
Resisting arrest is governed by Section 38.03 of the Texas Penal Code. Under this statute, it is unlawful when a person:
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.
While you have the First Amendment right to express your opinion during an arrest, your actions could become criminal if you use force to interfere with the police who are attempting to arrest or search you. Resisting could involve anything from wrestling with an arresting officer to striking them.
Evading Arrest and Detention in Houston TX during DWI Arrests
Texas also has a similar crime known as evading arrest and detention. While this offense does not apply to McFadden's case, this offense is often confused with resisting arrest. Evading arrest is different from resisting arrest as it does not involve the use of force. Instead, this crime occurs when a person attempts to escape or flee from a DWI arrest. Like with a charge of resisting, evading arrest could add additional penalties to an already difficult situation.
Both resisting and evading arrest could add significant consequences to an already difficult situation. A Board Certified criminal defense attorney can assist you with fighting back against your DWI case and also advise you on the impact of a charge of resisting arrest.