Texas DWI Attorney Joseph LaBella Comments on Recent Court Ruling on Legality of Filming DWI Arrests in Texas

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Texas DWI defense lawyer Joseph LaBella of Joseph LaBella & Associates, who supports people’s right to record DWI arrest in Texas, weighs in on federal lawsuit filed by a Texas activist.

Police officers routinely film people stopped for suspicion of drunk driving in Texas, but many of these same police officers don’t like it when the spotlight is on them.

A federal judge recently ruled an Austin, TX man repeatedly arrested for filming police officers has the right to file a lawsuit against the police because the man arrested has the right to legally photograph and film police officers, a ruling that could have dramatic implications for drivers arrested for drunk driving in Texas, according to experienced Texas drunk driving attorney Joseph LaBella of Joseph J. LaBella & Associates.

LaBella expressed his comments in response to a news report about the right to legally film police officers in public in Texas published in the Austin American-Statesman on July 25.

“Police officers routinely film people stopped for suspicion of drunk driving in Texas, but many of these same police officers don’t like it when the spotlight is on them,” LaBella said today. “Instead, many police officers often become belligerent and aggressive when a driver simply attempts to record the officer who has stopped a driver for drunk driving. That’s why we support drivers who exercise their Constitutional rights, and we hope this ruling sends a strong message to law enforcement officials that they cannot make up the rules when they arrest people. Police officers must follow the same laws all of us abide by in Texas and across the country.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane ruled that 37-year-old Antonio Buehler has the right to photograph and videotape police officers, according to KSAT 12 ABC News on July 26.

The recent case highlights how police officers often fail to follow the laws they were hired to enforce, according to Houston DWI lawyer Joseph LaBella of Joseph J. LaBella & Associates. Such news comes as no surprise to LaBella, who said he often works with clients whose Constitutional rights have been violated by police officers during illegal DWI arrests in Houston and throughout Texas.

“Police officers often make mistakes during DWI arrests in Texas,” LaBella said. “Some of the most common mistakes made by police including stopping a suspected drunk driver based on a hunch rather than reasonable suspicion or detaining a driver longer than necessary. But perhaps the most common mistakes made by police in DWI arrests involving administering a DWI breath or blood test wrong. This can range from mishandling the equipment to improperly storing the breath or blood sample. Whatever the reason, innocent people should not be charged with drunk driving in Texas if the police officer makes a mistake. And that driver has the right to film the police officer to make sure the officer is not breaking the law. That’s the law and police officers must respect it.”

For more information about Texas’ DWI laws and the options available to drivers with a DWI charge in Texas, call (800) 395-5951 or complete the online contact form.

Court Case

Case number 1:13-cv-01100-ML; filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division


The Austin American-Statesman article cited is “Federal judge upholds activist Antonio Buehler’s right to film officers.”

The KSAT article cited is “Judge rules man had right to record Austin police.”

About Joseph J. LaBella & Associates

Serving clients throughout Texas, DWI lawyer Joseph LaBella handles some of the most complicated drunk driving cases throughout the state. An experienced, knowledgeable Texas defense attorney, Joseph LaBella works with clients facing drunk driving related charges. Attorney LaBella has tried over 100 cases and has a 90 percent success rate. Along with DWI cases, attorney LaBella also handles probation violations, case dismissals, murder charges, sex crimes, drug crimes and hit and run charges.

Joseph J. LaBella & Associates
220 W Davis St
Conroe, TX 77301
(800) 395-5951

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Jacob M Del Hagen
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