Tell Senators to vote YES for SB 815 with House amendments!
Clock is ticking — session ends Monday!
SB 815 limits the harm when an officer arrests a driver at a traffic stop for a minor violation. Despite strong planks in both party platforms, and support by a majority of lawmakers in the Texas House, a bill to limit the ability of a police officer to arrest you at a traffic stop for any minor violation failed this session.
In its place, lawmakers in the House sent over a compromise that dismisses the ticket after you have suffered an unnecessary arrest and jail booking. That compromise needs your support in the Senate because the police unions have launched a campaign of misinformation. Right now they are winning, so we need your help!
What does the SB 815 compromise do?
After you are arrested and booked into jail for your infraction, the officer must place in the record a statement explaining why it was necessary to arrest you rather than just give you a ticket. The magistrate must review this statement, and if there was no public safety reason, and you didn’t refuse your ticket, the magistrate will dismiss your ticket.
At that point, you have already spent time in jail for a violation which, by statute, cannot be punished with jail time. These are “fine only” Class C misdemeanors, and your arrest, booking and time in the jail is a greater consequence than is allowed by law. You have, effectively, already been over-punished by the time you see that magistrate. Dismissing the ticket after an unnecessary arrest is the least they can do!
Based on reports by police departments, we estimate 75,000 Texans are arrested and booked in jail each year for such minor infractions. Today the Texas House will hold a hearing over the newly released video from Sandra Bland’s cell phone video definitively showing that at the time of her arrest there was no safety issue, only a simple traffic violation. We will not stop this practice this session but we can mitigate the harm!
Reform has bipartisan support
The following organizations support SB 815: Texas Public Policy Foundation, Young Republicans, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Faith in Texas, NAACP Texas, Texans for Accountable Government, ACLU of Texas, Austin Justice Coalition, Grassroots Leadership, Texas Appleseed, Just Liberty and many more.
Please call your Senator’s office right now and clearly state your strong support for SB 815 with House Amendments!!
If you live in Houston or the Metroplex, take a moment to call all the Senators from your area. If you don’t know your Senator, go here and enter your address then look at the list for “Texas Senate” to fine your Texas Senator.
Senator Alvarado (Houston): 512-463-0106
Senator Bettencourt (Houston): 512-463-0107
Senator Birdwell (Granbury): 512-463-0122
Senator Buckingham (Lakeway): 512-463-0124
Senator Campbell (New Braunfels): 512-463-0125
Senator Creighton (Conroe): 512-463-0104
Senator Fallon (Prosper): 512-463-0130
Senator Flores (Pleasanton): 512-463-0119
Senator Hall (Metroplex): 512-463-0102
Senator Hancock (Metroplex): 512-463-0109
Senator Hinojosa (McAllen): 512-463-0120
Senator Huffman (Houston): 512-463-0117
Senator Hughes (Mineola): 512-463-0101
Senator Johnson (Dallas): 512-463-0116
Senator Kolkhorst (Brenham): 512-463-0118
Senator Lucio (Brownsville): 512-463-0127
Senator Menendez (San Antonio): 512-463-0126
Senator Miles (Houston): 512-463-0113
Senator Nelson (Metroplex): 512-463-0112
Senator Nichols (Jacksonville): 512-463-0103
Senator Paxton (McKinney): 512-463-0108
Senator Perry (Lubbock): 512-463-0128
Senator Powell (Metroplex): 512-463-0110
Senator Rodriguez (El Paso): 512-463-0129
Senator Schwertner (Georgetown): 512-463-0105
Senator Seliger (Amarillo): 512-463-0131
Senator Taylor (Friendswood): 512-463-0111
Senator Watson (Austin): 512-463-0114
Senator West (Dallas): 512-463-0123
Senator Whitmire (Houston): 512-463-0115
Senator Zaffirini (Laredo): 512-463-0121