Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
This bill would require the Texas Commission on Law
Enforcement to consult with law enforcement agencies to create a policy
regarding the issuance of citations for misdemeanor offenses, including traffic
offenses, that are punishable by a fine only. This bill would require law
enforcement agencies to maintain a record of warrantless arrests for misdemeanor
offenses for at least one year.
In addition, officers would be prohibited from arresting an offender who commits one or more offense punishable by a fine only unless there is probable cause to believe that that the failure to arrest the offender creates a clear and immediate danger to the offender or the public. A person may also be arrested if the failure to arrest them would result in continued breach of the public peace, or if the offender will not appear in court in accordance with the citation; a person who is intoxicated in public would still be subject to arrest. This bill specifies that an unpaid fine arising from the commission of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine only would not constitute probable cause to believe that the offender will fail to appear in court.