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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.133

Article 2.133 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires peace officers who stop motor vehicles for alleged violations of the law or ordinance to report certain information to their employing law enforcement agency. This information includes the physical description of any person who is detained as a result of the stop, the initial reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted and if so, whether the person detained consented to the search, and whether any contraband or evidence was discovered during the search.


One of the most important requirements under this law is that peace officers must report the race or ethnicity of the person operating the motor vehicle who is detained as a result of the stop. The law clarifies that "race or ethnicity" has the meaning assigned by Article 2.132(a), which defines it as "the ethnicities of Hispanic or Latino origin, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or White."



The purpose of this reporting requirement is to collect data on the race and ethnicity of individuals who are stopped by law enforcement officers. This data can be used to analyze whether there are any patterns of racial or ethnic profiling by law enforcement officers, and to take steps to address any issues that are identified.


In addition to the race and ethnicity of the person detained, the law requires officers to report the reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted, and if so, the reason for the search and whether any contraband or evidence was discovered. Officers must also report whether an arrest was made as a result of the stop or search, and if so, the offense charged.


The law also requires the chief administrator of a law enforcement agency to audit reports under this section to ensure that the race or ethnicity of the person operating the motor vehicle is being reported. This ensures that agencies are complying with the reporting requirements and can help to identify any issues with data collection.

Overall, Article 2.133 is an important law that helps to promote transparency and accountability in law enforcement practices. By collecting data on motor vehicle stops, searches, and arrests, the law provides a means to monitor and address any potential issues related to racial or ethnic profiling by law enforcement officers.


Art. 2.133. REPORTS REQUIRED FOR MOTOR VEHICLE STOPS. (a) In this article, "race or ethnicity" has the meaning assigned by Article 2.132(a). (b) A peace officer who stops a motor vehicle for an alleged violation of a law or ordinance shall report to the law enforcement agency that employs the officer information relating to the stop, including: (1) a physical description of any person operating the motor vehicle who is detained as a result of the stop, including: (A) the person's gender; and (B) the person's race or ethnicity, as stated by the person or, if the person does not state the person's race or ethnicity, as determined by the officer to the best of the officer's ability; (2) the initial reason for the stop; (3) whether the officer conducted a search as a result of the stop and, if so, whether the person detained consented to the search; (4) whether any contraband or other evidence was discovered in the course of the search and a description of the contraband or evidence; (5) the reason for the search, including whether: (A) any contraband or other evidence was in plain view; (B) any probable cause or reasonable suspicion existed to perform the search; or (C) the search was performed as a result of the towing of the motor vehicle or the arrest of any person in the motor vehicle; (6) whether the officer made an arrest as a result of the stop or the search, including a statement of whether the arrest was based on a violation of the Penal Code, a violation of a traffic law or ordinance, or an outstanding warrant and a statement of the offense charged; (7) the street address or approximate location of the stop; (8) whether the officer issued a verbal or written warning or a ticket or citation as a result of the stop; and (9) whether the officer used physical force that resulted in bodily injury, as that term is defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, during the stop. (c) The chief administrator of a law enforcement agency, regardless of whether the administrator is elected, employed, or appointed, is responsible for auditing reports under Subsection (b) to ensure that the race or ethnicity of the person operating the motor vehicle is being reported. Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 947, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by: Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1172 (H.B. 3389), Sec. 26, eff. September 1, 2009. Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 950 (S.B. 1849), Sec. 5.02, eff. September 1, 2017.


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