Texas Senate Approves a Delay on Search Warrant Information

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Judges could seal search warrant information for up to 60 days -- to protect victims, witnesses or key evidence -- under a bill OK'd by the Texas Senate.

The measure now goes to the House.

Currently, a sworn affidavit filed for a search warrant is public information once the warrant is executed and Texas courts have ruled it be made immediately available.

But some prosecutors and law enforcement officials worry they may include information that could result in the destruction of evidence or put witnesses in danger.

The bill by Senator Tommy Williams of The Woodlands allows investigators to ask judges to order the warrants sealed from public view for 30 days.

Once that period expires, they could ask for another 30-day blackout period.

The bill has drawn opposition from open records advocates and media groups.


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