Alejos v. State

In Alejos v. State, 555 S.W.2d 444, 450 (Tex. Crim. App. 1977), the defendant was convicted of evading arrest under Penal Code 38.04. On appeal, he claimed he should have been prosecuted under a more specific penal provision, article 6701d 186, "fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer." Id. at 446 (op. on original submission). The Court held the two provisions were not in pari materia because "the two acts involved are contained in different legislative acts, have different elements of proof, different penalties and were obviously designed to serve different purposes and objectives." Id. at 449 (op. on reh'g). The Court noted that 38.04 meshed well with other provisions of Chapter 38, all of which pertained to some type of arrest-related incident (resisting arrest, escape, facilitating escape, evading arrest). Id. at 448. The primary focus of Article 6701d, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways, was the safety and orderly regulation of traffic on Texas highways. Contrasting the two provisions we noted that one of the most significant features of 38.04 was that the State prove the officer was attempting to make a lawful arrest, while article 6701d 186 did not even contemplate an arrest or attempted arrest by the officer. The Court held the provisions were not in pari materia because "while the same subject is treated they are in different acts having different objects, intended to cover different situations and were not apparently intended to be considered together. Alejos, 555 S.W.2d at 450-51. Because the provisions were not in pari materia, the State had discretion as to which offense to prosecute.