Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution
In Texas, the crime of hindering apprehension or prosecution, also known as hindering prosecution, is defined as intentionally obstructing, impeding, or preventing the arrest of another person with the knowledge that the person committed an offense.
This crime is a class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine up to $4,000. The crime is a third-degree felony if the person who the police were trying to arrest was wanted for Failure to Register as a Sex offender. The penalty range in that case would be two to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
To convict a person of hindering apprehension or prosecution in Texas, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly obstructed, impeded, or prevented the arrest of another person.
- The defendant had knowledge that the other person had committed an offense.
- The defendant acted with the intent to hinder the apprehension or prosecution of the other person.
To prove this crime the prosecution may use evidence such as the defendant’s statements, eyewitness testimony, police officer’s testimony and information taken from the defendant’s cell phone or other devices.
Examples of the criminal offense of hindering apprehension in Texas law include:
- Hiding or concealing a person who has committed a crime to prevent their arrest.
- Providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation to protect the person who committed the crime.
- Destroying or altering physical evidence related to a crime to prevent its use in an investigation or prosecution.
- Tampering with or influencing a witness to prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement or testifying truthfully in court.
- Warning the wanted person of impending discovery or arrest.