SB 1253

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure
Law Enforcement

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive


Royce West


John Smithee

Bill Caption

Relating to the electronic recording and admissibility of certain custodial interrogations.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 1253 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to require a law enforcement agency of the state or of a municipality, county, or other political subdivision to make an audio recording of any custodial interrogation that occurs in a place of detention with a person suspected of or charged with an offense of murder, kidnapping, trafficking, sexual abuse, indecency, improper relationship between educator and student, or sexual assault. The recording would be exempt from public disclosure. The bill further provides that no oral, sign language, or written statement would be admissible against the accused unless an electronic recording was made

This bill establishes some "good cause" reasons why a custodial investigation may not be recorded. Unless an attorney offers satisfactory proof that good cause existed to make the recording of a custodial investigation infeasible, the fact that the testimony was not recorded may be considered when determining the admissibility of the defendant’s statement, and would be considered relevant and admissible before a trier of fact jury. In addition, if the defendant made a statement during a custodial investigation, and if that statement is admitted as evidence, but the state fails to provide the actual recording, the court may consider the absence of the recording while evaluating the evidence. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill would protect the rights of those accused of a crime and being interrogated by providing a greater level of transparency through audio and visual recording of statements. These procedures are reasonable protections to request and as such we support SB 1253.

Organizations Supporting

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association