In the late hours of the evening in mid-September 2020, officers responded to an intoxicated driver complaint on Flower Mound Road. When they arrived, they found a severely damaged motor vehicle facing oncoming traffic. Officers discovered that both the driver and the passenger had fled the scene. The passenger was found behind a Wayfair store and arrested for alleged public intoxication. The driver was seen later by another officer but managed to flee into a heavily wooded area just south of Flower Mound Road. The police and the Texas Department of Public Safety tried to locate the suspect but were unsuccessful. Being charged with a DWI in Texas is a serious offense, but the seriousness increases several times over for a suspect that evades arrest or detention. Hiring an expert DWI attorney can help mitigate the severity of the crimes from the beginning.
What Happens if You Evade the Police When Stopped for a Texas DWI?
If caught, the suspect from the article above would be subject to both a DWI charge and a charge for evading arrest or detention. According to the Texas Penal Code, this offense is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in county jail and fines up to $10,000. If you try to evade arrest while in a motor vehicle or have previously been convicted of another crime, these punishments increase significantly. If evasion becomes your first conviction and you were driving a car when it happened, the offense is considered a fourth-degree felony, which could result in 180 days to 2 years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
The Texas Transportation Code states that if a driver does not bring the vehicle to a stop, or tries to flee or evade the police officer after being given visual or audible signs to stop, the police officer can charge the individual with a misdemeanor. Something to note, an officer can arrest a person under both the Transportation Code and the Penal Code at the same time.
Thus, if you flee or misbehave in any way while you are being detained or arrested for the original DWI charge, you can increase the severity of your punishment significantly if you are then found guilty of the original DWI offense.
How a DWI Specialist Can Help
Hiring the right criminal attorney is an essential step for any individual facing DWI charges, but having someone on your team with expert DWI know-how is imperative. A DWI specialist has specific skills that the average criminal attorney would not – such as the investigative skills necessary to review the circumstances surrounding your DWI arrest and the technical skills to identify issues with field sobriety or chemical tests.
Attorney Doug Murphy has years of experience helping individuals arrested for DWI significantly reduce or even drop their DWI charges in Texas. Murphy was named 2021 US News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America, won the Sharon Levine Unsung Hero Award from the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, and was named “Drinking Driver's Best Friend” by the Houston Press. He works diligently to ensure your rights are upheld—call 713-229-8333 to schedule your consultation today. Don't try to navigate the complexities of your defense alone.