New state bills proposed to disallow arrests for offenses punishable by fine

HOUSTON – If you're caught speeding, chances are you're issued a ticket and from there you're free to go.

But in Texas, an officer can arrest you.

That's on a case-by-case basis -- and in Houston -- the Houston Police Department requires an officer to get approval from a supervisor first.

That could change under two bills working through the state Capitol in Austin.

House Bills 567 and 574 aim to eliminate an officer's authority to arrest people on offenses punishable by fines.

In the books they're called Class C Misdemeanors.

"Could be anything from a speeding ticket to insurance, to no drivers license to failing to signal a lane change," Ray Hunt said.

Hunt is president of the Houston Police Officers Union.