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Improper search accusations pointed at Texas officers

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The blog is dedicated to keeping readers up to date on issues of criminal defense in the state of Texas. Often, criminal laws and news issues are focused around the serious consequences that may be associated with a conviction. The criminal justice system is designed to protect all citizens, so they are treated as innocent until proven guilty. Further only solid evidence and guilt predicated on a valid law should lead to conviction. Thus, the consequences of a conviction such as jail time, fines and damage to reputation should not be experienced by those prosecuted with invalid evidence or under a faulty theory of law.

Yet, often a question lingers regarding those individuals who are also treated improperly by authorities during an arrest, interrogation or post-conviction. Two Texas women allege to have recently experienced some uncalled for behavior when encountering two police officers not long ago. The women were stopped in their vehicle under allegations of littering. However, the stop quickly escalated into drug charges accusations.

The police proceeded to search the women, using a full body cavity search method on the side of the road. The process was actually caught on tape. The women also allege that the same glove was used to search both of them. Authorities are currently investigating the allegations.

Improper treatment by the police force can often be characterized as cruel and unusual punishment in violation of a citizen's constitutional rights. Such a violation could amount to a civil suit. However, the mere existence of this wrongful behavior does not necessarily mean that one's criminal case will be dropped.

The police force has suspended both of the officers with pay after the allegations surfaced. It is possible both the officers will appear before a grand jury sometime this month.

Source: The Texas Tribune, "Inmate's case adds to debate on recorded interrogations," Maurice Chammah, Dec. 28, 2012 

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