Breaking News: In a 5 to 4 opinion handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States, San Antonio traffic ticket violators can now be legally strip-searched by police for any reason when stopped, if taken into custody. This right afforded to law enforcement to strip search was granted by the Court in Justice Kennedy’s April 2, 2012 decision of Florence vs. Boars of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington. In short, the Supreme Court held the fourth amendment, which safeguards citizens against unreasonable search and seizure, does not extend protection above the right of jails to strip search a person detained for any reason whatsoever, even if no reasonable suspicion exists that the person might have contraband or be dangerous.
The case began back in 2005 when a man named Albert Florence, who was a passenger in a car that was stopped, was arrested for failure to pay a fine, in spite of the fact he showed proof of payment to the arresting officers. Mr. Florence was subsequently taken to jail and detained for at least six days. During that time, Mr. Florence was stripped searched twice. After being released, Florence brought a civil rights suit claiming his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures had been violated.
Justice Kennedy wrote in his opinion, “In addressing this type of constitutional claim, courts must defer to the judgment of correctional officials unless the record contains substantial evidence showing their policies are an unnecessary or unjustified response to problems of jail security…That necessary showing has not been made in this case.”
If you are stopped for a traffic citation and ultimately arrested, you should be aware law enforcement is now constitutionally allowed to strip search you, no matter how minor the infraction, if they deem such a search is necessary in the name of jail security. While the strip search is limited to visual inspection and prohibits touching or abusive gestures, the detainee may be forced to manipulate some part of his body.
So, how does this relate to traffic tickets in San Antonio? Well, if you have an outstanding speeding ticket in Bexar County that has gone into warrant status and are pulled over by SAPD, Bexar County sheriffs or other local law enforcement, you may be subject to a strip search if arrested. Such an invasive procedure would not only strip you of your cloths, but of your dignity and individual privacy as well.
If you have outstanding warrants for traffic tickets in San Antonio, Bexar County, Comal County, Selma, Schertz, Leon Valley, Helotes, Kirby, Bulverde, San Marcos Municipal Court or Austin Municipal Court, give one of our traffic ticket lawyers a call and we can provide you with sound, experienced traffic ticket defense. Call 210-745-2825.