Is Drug Search Based on Police Informants Tip Legal In Texas ?
In Hardison v. State, 597 S.W.2d 355 (Tex. Crim. App. 1980) an unidentified informant told police that the appellant was dealing heroin in front of a barber shop on a particular street. See 597 S.W.2d at 356.
The informant described the appellant's clothing and stated that he stored the encapsulated heroin in his hatband. Id.
The officer testified that he had used the informant on at least twelve prior occasions, and his information had proven reliable every time. See id.
The officers went to the location immediately after being given the tip and observed the appellant for five to ten minutes. See Hardison, 597 S.W.2d at 356-57.
Even though he did not commit a felony during this time, the officers approached the appellant, took his hat, and, upon finding heroin in the hatband, arrested the appellant. See Hardison, 597 S.W.2d at 357.
The officer testified that he knew he could obtain a warrant, but gave no reason why he could not obtain one. See id.
The court ruled this arrest invalid under art. 14.04 because there was no showing that the appellant was about to escape. See id.