Bill Text: TX SB950 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to law enforcement policies regarding the issuance of citations for misdemeanors punishable by fine only and to a limitation on the authority to arrest a person for certain fine-only misdemeanors.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-11 - Referred to Criminal Justice [SB950 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB950-Introduced.html
  87R2967 AJZ-F
 
  By: Hinojosa S.B. No. 950
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to law enforcement policies regarding the issuance of
  citations for misdemeanors punishable by fine only and to a
  limitation on the authority to arrest a person for certain
  fine-only misdemeanors.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 2, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 2.1309 to read as follows:
         Art. 2.1309.  CITE AND RELEASE POLICY. (a) In this article,
  "law enforcement agency" means an agency of the state or an agency
  of a political subdivision of the state authorized by law to employ
  peace officers.
         (b)  Texas Southern University, in consultation with law
  enforcement agencies, law enforcement associations, law
  enforcement training experts, and community organizations engaged
  in the development of law enforcement policy, shall publish a
  written model policy regarding the issuance of citations for
  misdemeanor offenses, including traffic offenses, that are
  punishable by fine only. The policy must provide a procedure for a
  peace officer, on a person's presentation of appropriate
  identification, to verify the person's identity and issue a
  citation to the person. The policy must comply with Articles 14.01,
  14.03, and 14.06 of this code and Sections 543.001 and 543.004,
  Transportation Code.
         (c)  Each law enforcement agency shall adopt a written policy
  regarding the issuance of citations for misdemeanor offenses,
  including traffic offenses, that are punishable by fine only. The
  policy must meet the requirements for the model policy described by
  Subsection (b). A law enforcement agency may adopt the model policy
  published by Texas Southern University under Subsection (b).
         SECTION 2.  Article 14.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or (b), a peace officer
  or any other person may not, without a warrant, arrest an offender
  for a misdemeanor punishable by fine only, other than an offense
  under Section 22.01(a)(2) or (3), Penal Code, or Section 49.02,
  Penal Code.
         SECTION 3.  Article 14.03, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Subsection (h) to read as follows:
         (h)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), (d), or (g), a peace
  officer may not, without a warrant, arrest a person who only commits
  one or more offenses punishable by fine only, other than an offense
  under Section 22.01(a)(2) or (3), Penal Code, or Section 49.02,
  Penal Code.
         SECTION 4.  Article 14.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (b-1) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A peace officer who is charging a person, including a
  child, with committing an offense that is a [Class C] misdemeanor
  punishable by fine only, other than an offense under Section 49.02,
  Penal Code, shall [may], instead of taking the person before a
  magistrate, issue a citation to the person that contains:
               (1)  written notice of the time and place the person
  must appear before a magistrate;
               (2)  the name and address of the person charged;
               (3)  the offense charged;
               (4)  information regarding the alternatives to the full
  payment of any fine or costs assessed against the person, if the
  person is convicted of the offense and is unable to pay that amount;
  and
               (5)  the following admonishment, in boldfaced or
  underlined type or in capital letters:
         "If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving
  violence where you are or were a spouse, intimate partner, parent,
  or guardian of the victim or are or were involved in another,
  similar relationship with the victim, it may be unlawful for you to
  possess or purchase a firearm, including a handgun or long gun, or
  ammunition, pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. Section
  922(g)(9) or Section 46.04(b), Texas Penal Code. If you have any
  questions whether these laws make it illegal for you to possess or
  purchase a firearm, you should consult an attorney."
         (b-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a peace officer who
  is charging a person, including a child, with committing an offense
  that is a misdemeanor under Section 22.01(a)(2) or (3), Penal Code,
  punishable by fine only may, instead of taking the person before a
  magistrate, issue a citation to the person that contains all of the
  information required for a citation issued under Subsection (b).
         SECTION 5.  Section 543.001, Transportation Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 543.001.  ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT AUTHORIZED. Any peace
  officer may arrest without warrant a person found committing a
  violation of this subtitle, other than a person found only
  committing one or more misdemeanors punishable by fine only.
         SECTION 6.  Section 543.004(a), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  An officer shall issue a written notice to appear if:
               (1)  the offense charged is a misdemeanor under this
  subtitle that is punishable by fine only[:
                     [(A)  speeding;
                     [(B)  the use of a wireless communication device
  under Section 545.4251; or
                     [(C)  a violation of the open container law,
  Section 49.031, Penal Code]; and
               (2)  the person makes a written promise to appear in
  court as provided by Section 543.005.
         SECTION 7.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An
  offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
  this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of
  this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 8.  (a) Not later than January 1, 2022, Texas
  Southern University shall publish the model policy required by
  Article 2.1309(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by this
  Act.
         (b)  Not later than March 1, 2022, each law enforcement
  agency in this state shall adopt the policy required by Article
  2.1309(c), Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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