Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana
Submitted: May 14, 2019
Appeal from the County Court at Law Harrison County, Texas
Trial Court No. 2015-0443
Morriss, C.J., Burgess and Stevens, JJ.
E. Stevens, Justice
Thaddeaus Taylor moved to suppress the results of his blood
test because his consent was not voluntary. After his motion
was denied, Taylor entered a plea of guilty to driving while
intoxicated (DWI) with a blood alcohol concentration greater
than 0.15. Under a plea bargain, Taylor was assessed
365 days' confinement in the county jail, which was
suspended. He was placed on fifteen months' community
supervision and fined $500.00.
appeal, Taylor asserts that the trial court erred in denying
his motion. Because we find that Taylor's consent was
voluntary, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
review a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress for
abuse of discretion. Crain v. State, 315 S.W.3d 43,
48 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010). We give almost total deference to
the trial court's determination of historical facts that
turn on credibility and demeanor. Brodnex v. State,
485 S.W.3d 432, 436 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016); Cochran v.
State, 563 S.W.3d 374, 378 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 2018, no
pet.). We review mixed questions of law and fact that do not
turn on credibility or demeanor de novo. Brodnex,
485 S.W.3d at 436; Cochran, 563 S.W.3d at 378. When
the trial court makes explicit findings of fact, the evidence
is viewed in the light most favorable to its ruling, and we
determine whether the findings are supported by the evidence.
Valtierra v. State, 310 S.W.3d 442, 447 (Tex. Crim.
App. 2010). We affirm the trial court's "decision if
it is correct on any theory of law that finds support in the
record." Cochran, 563 S.W.3d at 378 (citing
Osbourn v. State, 92 S.W.3d 531, 538 (Tex. Crim.
blood pursuant to an investigation is a search and seizure,
subject to the constraints of the Fourth Amendment.
Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 767 (1966).
Subject to a few well-delineated exceptions, under the Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,
a search conducted without a warrant issued with probable
cause is considered per se unreasonable. Schneckloth v.
Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 219 (1973). That said,
voluntary consent to search is one of the well-established
exceptions to the constitutional requirements of both a
warrant and probable cause. Id.; Carmouche v.
State, 10 S.W.3d 323, 331 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000).
Consent to search must be voluntary based on a consideration
of the totality of the circumstances. Ohio v.
Robinette, 519 U.S. 33, 40 (1996). "Under Texas
law, the State must prove voluntary consent by clear and
convincing evidence." State v. Weaver, 349
S.W.3d 521, 526 (Tex. Crim. App. 2011). Consent "may be
given orally or by action, or shown by circumstantial
evidence." Valtierra, 310 S.W.3d at 448
(citations omitted). A voluntary decision must be "the
product of a free and deliberate choice rather than
intimidation, coercion, or deception." Joseph v.
State, 309 S.W.3d 20, 25 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010) (quoting
Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 421 (1986)).
"The validity of an alleged consent to search is a
question of fact to be determined from the totality of the
circumstances." Valtierra, 310 S.W.3d at 448
(citing Robinette, 519 U.S. at 40).
The Trial Court's Findings of Fact
Taylor's request, the trial court entered findings of
fact and conclusions of law on his motion to
suppress. The trial court found:
1. "Taylor was involved in an automobile wreck in
Harrison County, Texas[, ] the 14th day of June 2015 . . .
[and] struck a vacant automobile that was parked along the
shoulder of Interstate 20 in the East bound lane near mile
2. "Trooper Kirby Jarrell arrived on the scene to
investigate the crash . . . [and] found [Taylor] alone
outside of his vehicle";
3. "[Taylor] admitted to being the operator of his
vehicle . . . [and] that he had consumed three to four
4. "Jarrell did not place [Taylor] in restraints at any
time during the course of investigation";
5. "[Taylor] did not appear in medical distress at any
6. "Emergency medical services personnel arrived at the
scene after a time, and met with [Taylor] . . . [and Taylor]
elected to be transported to a hospital in ...