Appeal from County Court at Law No. 2 Fort Bend County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 15-CCR-180333
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Brown and
Russell Lloyd Justice.
Megan Pate pleaded "no contest" to the misdemeanor
offense of driving while intoxicated. The trial court assessed her
punishment at a $500 fine and 180 days in county jail, with
deferred adjudication community supervision for eighteen
months. The trial court certified appellant's right to
appeal the judgment of conviction, permitting appellant to
challenge the trial court's earlier denial of her motion
to suppress. In one issue, appellant argues that the trial
court erred by denying her motion to suppress because the
arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to
initiate an investigative stop because the stop was based
solely upon an anonymous tip. We affirm.
on information received from an anonymous caller, Officer E.
Salazar conducted an investigative traffic stop and
temporarily detained appellant. After performing various
field sobriety tests, appellant was arrested and she was
subsequently charged with DWI. Appellant filed a motion to
suppress evidence obtained as a result of that stop in which
she argued that Officer Salazar did not have reasonable
suspicion to stop her vehicle.
the hearing on appellant's motion to suppress, Officer
Salazar testified that he was dispatched to the
"Whataburger on Nelson Way" after a caller reported
a possible drunk driver at the scene. Salazar testified that
the dispatcher had informed him that the caller had
"explained that he was almost sideswiped and he
approached the vehicle or drove up next to the vehicle and
asked, you know, are you okay or something to that effect;
and the person responded, well, I'm a little tipsy or
intoxicated or something to that nature." Salazar
further testified that he knew which vehicle to look for when
he arrived at the restaurant because the dispatcher had also
conveyed the caller's description of the vehicle.
Salazar arrived at the Whataburger, he saw the Jeep described
by the caller stopped at the restaurant's pick-up window.
The officer initiated an investigative stop as the Jeep was
leaving the Whataburger parking lot. Officer Salazar
initiated the investigative stop out of "[f]ear of
[appellant's] vehicle striking somebody or, you know,
just causing an accident, wrecking out."
her motion to suppress was denied, appellant pleaded "no
contest" to the misdemeanor offense of driving while
intoxicated and the trial court assessed her punishment at a
$500 fine and 180 days in county jail, with deferred
adjudication community supervision for eighteen months.
sole issue on appeal, appellant argues that the trial court
erred by denying her motion to suppress because Officer
Salazar did not have reasonable suspicion to initiate an
investigative stop based on information obtained exclusively
from an anonymous tip.
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
review a ruling on a motion to suppress evidence for an abuse
of discretion. Shepherd v. State, 273 S.W.3d 681,
684 (Tex. Crim. App. 2008). We give almost total deference to
a trial court's determination of historical facts,
especially if those determinations turn on witness
credibility or demeanor, and we review de novo the trial
court's application of the law to facts not based on an
evaluation of credibility and demeanor. Neal v.
State, 256 S.W.3d 264, 281 (Tex. Crim. App. 2008). At a
suppression hearing, the trial court is the sole and
exclusive trier of fact and judge of the witnesses'
credibility. Maxwell v. State, 73 S.W.3d 278, 281