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Texas governor says consent not necessary, vetoes search bill

By Aaron Ladage
Staff Writer

A bill that would have changed the requirements of legal consent for police searches of vehicles in Texas has been vetoed by the governor.

On June 17, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed SB1195, which would have required officers to have either probable cause or obtain written or recorded oral consent before they could search a vehicle. The bill was passed in the state House May 25, and cleared the Senate in April.

Currently, the criminal procedure code in Texas only states that people should not be subjected to unreasonable searches.

According to The Victoria Advocate, the bill, which was introduced by Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, was not expected to but did pass in the legislature, only to be struck down by the governor’s veto power.

In a veto statement, Perry said he believes the state’s constitution and case law already provide sufficient protection from unreasonable searches.

“There is insufficient information now to determine whether signed or taped consent requirements place too onerous a burden on law enforcement or provide additional protections to the public,” Perry said in the statement.

aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

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