The state Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 Wednesday to pass a bill, sponsored by Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, that would require traffic citations to be “filed in the county or district in which the offense occurred.”
Pirtle has said such an the issue was brought to him to by a Roswell constituent who was cited in Chaves County, but was required to appear in a Carlsbad court. To drive to and from counties not only cost time, but money, he said.
Under SB455, a law officer “who arrests a person without a warrant for a petty misdemeanor or any offense…may offer the person arrested the option of accepting a citation to appear in lieu of taking the person to jail.”
The citation issued would include the name and address of the cited person, the offense for which they are charged and the time and place to appear in court, which “must be in the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.”
Also, if a person is arrested for a misdemeanor involving a motor vehicle, such as reckless driving or “failure to stop in the event of an accident causing death, personal injuries or damage to property,” they “would be immediately taken before an available magistrate in the county where the violation occurred who has jurisdiction of the offense.”
Having passed all of its assigned committees, the bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote.