It’s never a good idea to run from the police but you would be surprised at the number of people who try. Sometimes people just get spooked and run for no reason. One of our clients said it was because of past bad experiences with police officers, that whenever he gets around police he gets anxious. If you are reading this blog you or someone you know may have already been arrested for Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle ‐ of course that’s always a bad idea. If you did attempt to evade law enforcement in Houston call (832) 328-0600 so we can get started helping you resolve this mistake.
But many of our clients tell us they actually WEREN’T running. Many were honestly not aware the police were after them but as soon as it became obvious to them ‐ they pulled over. One female client told us she was only looking for a safe place to pull over as it was night and she had been beaten up by cops in the past. Many clients tell us they had on loud music or other distractions or obstructions to their view but that as soon as they became aware the police were stopping them, they pulled over. These cases are defensible. We prove there was no intent to evade and argue using all available evidence that our clients did not realize they were being pulled over and argue the subjectivity of the officer’s impression as to how far and how fast is “too far and too fast” before pulling over.
Evading Arrest ‐ Easy for Law Enforcement
Evading arrest in a motor vehicle charges are fairly easy felony arrests to make for rookie cops seeking to climb the ladder of law enforcement. The proverbial cop with a chip on his shoulder ‐ and there are plenty of them in Houston, Tomball, and Baytown in particular ‐ can escalate an otherwise innocuous police / citizen encounter into an “evading arrest event” with little to no provocation. For example, we spoke with a defendant who was pulled over for speeding in a school zone. He pulled into the school parking lot, spoke with the ISD police and then drove off after the ISD officer indicated they were done and walked back to his squad car. Moments after that the defendant was chased and pulled over for evading arrest in a motor vehicle.
In Texas, Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle is a State Jail Felony, which means you can get from 6 months up to 2 years in a State Jail facility. It can be enhanced to a 3rd Degree Felony if anyone is seriously injured during the chase or if the defendant has a previous Evading Arrest conviction.
Fighting an Evading Arrest in Motor Vehicle Charge
When our criminal defense law firm fights an EAMV charge the 1st thing we go for is a Grand Jury No Bill ‐ if the facts are favorable ‐ by asking the District Attorney’s office to hold off on a rubber stamp indictment and to allow us to put together a Grand Jury brief and packet of evidence for their consideration. We also prepare our client and witnesses to testify before the Grand Jury.
If you are indicted, we then fight for a Dismissal prior to the Trial stage. If we obtain a No Bill we can definitely get an expunction of the case off your record, although in most cases we will have to wait until the Statute of Limitations has expired. If we get it dismissed, we may be able to get it expunged as well. Until your no billed or dismissed evading arrest in motor vehicle charge is expunged, you have no conviction ‐ no “record“ ‐ although the facts of the arrest and the subsequent No Bill or Dismissal will show.
If we cannot get your evading arrest case dismissed by the time to docket the case for Trial or Trial Motions, then you must either decide to go into the trial stage with motions, subpoenas, witness preparation, etc. or to have us negotiate a plea agreement such as deferred adjudication. Sometimes plea agreements can include a reduction to a Misdemeanor. Sometimes pleading will involve a hearing to the judge.
Many factors should go into your decision to fight or not to fight an Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle charge in Texas. Below are some of the questions we typically review with prospective clients when they come in for a free consultation:
- Why was the officer trying to pull you over in the first place? (If the State cannot prove it was for a specific crime we may be able to get the charge dismissed.)
- Was the officer in a marked or unmarked car?
- How close behind you was he following — were there one or more cars between you and and the officer?
- What was traffic like?
- How far did you go and at what speed once he put his lights on (if you know)? (Here we use dash cam video from the officer’s unit if it exists — as it does in most cases.)
- How did he attempt to get you to stop — did he use lights, sirens, loudspeaker, hand gesture — and at what point in the alleged chase?
- What were the road and weather / visibility conditions?
- Was anyone in the car with you?
- What noise / distractions did you have going on in the car and what obstructions to your view were there?
- Did you make any statements when you ultimately pulled over?
- Were you read your Miranda Warning?
- Did the officer search your car and what if anything was found?
- Did you have any warrants out?
- Were you impaired — on alcohol or drugs?
- If a chase ensued — was anyone injured — was there a crash with another car or object?
The Haggard Law Firm has fought and won many Evading Arrest in Motor Vehicle cases. We have over 30 years of experience and a verifiable winning record. Call us at (832) 328-0600 or use the short email form on this page to contact us for a free confidential consultation with the attorney to advise you and get started providing you the best defense possible against your charges.