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Do you have to comply with police orders?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When police should be allowed to use force while dealing with the public is a hot-button topic in the United States. Often, law enforcement officers justify their use of force by saying that a person failed to comply with police orders.

Does the law require you to always do what the police say in Texas?

Your rights when interacting with police

The U.S. Constitution protects your right to avoid incriminating yourself. For this reason, there is no requirement to answer questions from the police about where you were, what you are doing or where you live. However, Texas law requires you to show the police your ID if you are being arrested, carrying a handgun or driving. You do not have to consent to a search, but the police can pat you down if they suspect you have a weapon.

Resisting arrest, transportation or search

Texas prosecutors can charge you with a crime if you intentionally prevent or obstruct a person who you know is a law enforcement officer from searching, arresting or transporting you or another person. You can be charged with this crime even if the search or arrest was not lawful. Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you use a deadly weapon against a law enforcement officer while resisting arrest, you may face a third-degree felony charge.

Because even resisting unlawful searches and arrests can result in criminal charges, there is always a risk when you choose not to comply with police commands. However, asserting your rights may still provide you with protection.