Lawmaker Wants Texas Traffic Stop Standards in Drivers ManualPublished: Nov 22, 2016 in Criminal Defense
Do you know what to do when you are stopped by the police? If you don’t, you are in the same boat as most Texas drivers. Many people do not understand their rights when they are stopped by the police under suspicion of a traffic violation, drunk driving, or a drug offense. You might make the mistake of not rolling down the window to identify yourself. You say too little. You might also make the mistake of saying too much by answering all the police officer’s questions and doing everything you are told.
Texas Sen. Royce West, D-Dist. 23, wants to fix this serious problem. Sen. West wants Texas to revise its driver’s license manual to include Texas traffic stop standards and then to have this information taught in driving classes and at the police academies. After all, it is not just a problem that you are not aware of your rights. The police may not be fully informed of your right to remain silent and not submit to certain tests.
Sen. West’s Texas Traffic Stop Initiative
According to Sen. West, providing traffic stop information in the Texas driver’s license manual is a good idea for two reasons. First, the manual can define your and the police’s rights during the stop. When you know your constitutional and state rights, a violation of those rights is far less likely to occur. If you know the proper protocol of a traffic stop, you will understand the need to identify yourself to officers and provide proof of auto insurance, but that you do not have to answer additional questions. You will also know when you must submit to a breath test, but that you can safely refuse a field sobriety test.
Second, the manual can describe appropriate and polite conduct during the stop. For instance, you are not required to turn on the dome light of the car at night or turn off the radio. However, police appreciate actions that show cooperation and make them feel safe. By removing distractions and enabling the police to see you and within the car at night, you can drastically improve how the traffic stop proceeds.
Sen. West believes that if everyone’s knowledge regarding traffic stops is improved, trust between Texans and the police can be improved.
Important Information for Teenagers
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Dist. 15, believes information about how to handle traffic stops should be taught to Texas students. High school freshmen are just beginning to learn how to drive and getting their licenses. They are young, impressionable, and unlikely to know what to do if they are pulled over by the police. Their fear or youthful attitude could land them in trouble, or worse, escalate the situation to violence. Sen. Whitmire wants there to be more uniformity to stops, and to have high school freshman taught their rights and the best way to express those rights to the police.
Attorney Ned Barnett Can Help You
If you were pulled over by the police and the situation did not go well, you may face criminal charges as a result. In this difficult situation, call experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer Ned Barnett immediately. Attorney Barnett understands how tricky it can be to navigate a traffic stop when you are not sure of your rights or how you should behave to help the situation go smoothly. He has years of experience defending individuals who have been charged with a DUI or drug crimes after a traffic stop. To build you a strong defense, he will determine whether the stop was valid and whether any of your rights were violated by the police. If evidence was gathered from an invalid stop or through a violation of your rights, Houston criminal defense lawyer Ned Barnett will fight to have this evidence thrown out and to have the charges dropped.
Call the Law Offices of Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free consultation.