Search & Seizures on Traffic Stops in TEXAS

Asked over 5 years ago - Dallas, TX

On video tape I was stopped for speeding, broken tail lights. Passenger had warrant unpaid tickets. He was asked to get out of the car, he did, closed the door & placed in cuffs. Then another officer arrived & 1st officer told the 2nd officer I had been stopped for suspicion of DWI.. The officer then leaned way in the window & found drugs my passenger had stashed on the door, which can't be seen from outside vehicle. The officer then stepped back & asked for consent to search. I consented, not knowing drugs were there. I was then arrested for the drugs & not charged with any traffic tickets nor given any road side testing or breathalyzer for DWI. I would like to know Texas laws on illegal search & seizure. Once passenger out of car why wasn't I let go if not charged w/anything else?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Edgardo Rafael Baez

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . I believe that you stated that you consented to search? Mistake number one. Under Texas law, this would not be an illegal search and seizure, this is more a reasonable and necessary search and one that was perfectly legit. Do yourself a favor, you need to retain excellent legal representation to help you with this difficult legal situation that you have placed yourself in. God luck, and may God bless you.

  2. Cynthia Russell Henley

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I am pretty certain that the officer will tell a different story about what happened. But, once you consent to the search, that waives most any error.

    That said, your case sounds at least defensible in the sense that the drugs were closer to the passenger than to you. If your passenger has drug priors, it makes sense that he stashed them when you were stopped. I think if you went to trial, it is likely you would get a not guilty - and you can use your consent to search as additional evidence that you were unaware that there were drugs in the car. (A prosecutor who is thinking clearly may not even wish to bother with this case if you have a good lawyer, especially if your passenger has priors.)

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