One of our fantastic lawyers had this to say after meeting with a client last night!
I just visited a client in Bell County, Texas (Belton) who had been arrested for a DWI. When the officer pulled him over all he asked was for his license and asked him if he had been drinking. My client handed him his valid Mexican Driver’s License (which is valid in Texas if you are here visiting for less than 90 days) and admitted to having 2 beers. The officer asked him to get out of his car, and then promptly arrested him. No follow up questions, no HGN test, no field sobriety test, no portable breath test, just straight to handcuffs and the back of the patrol car. The client asked the officer why he was being arrested, and was ignored and never told. Now by any objective measurement or grading, that is a horrible DWI investigation, and more than likely an illegal arrest. I am really interested to see the Probable Cause affidavit to see what reasons the officer had for making the arrest. Unfortunately, having been a Criminal defense attorney for over 10 years in Central Texas and having defended clients in Bell County before, I think the fact my client had a Mexican Driver’s license and was Hispanic (even though he speaks fluent English and grew up here) played a large part in how he was treated.
What do you think ?
Anyone have a similar bad experience in Belton or Bell County with law enforcement there ?
Anyone ever been arrested or bothered by police or Sheriff’s in Bell County or Belton and you think the reason they treated you the way they did was on account of your race or ethnicity?
The criminal defense attorneys at Peek & Toland want to know!