Appeal from the Criminal Court at Law No. 11 Harris County,
Texas Trial Court Case No. 2138927
consists of Justices Lloyd, Kelly, and Hightower.
Gene Arrington appeals from the trial court's denial of
his motion to suppress. We affirm.
Harris County deputy sheriff responded to a 911 call about a
possible drunk driver. She arrested Arrington without a
warrant outside his home. Arrington was charged with driving
while intoxicated (DWI). Tex. Penal Code § 49.04. He
filed a motion to suppress the evidence, arguing that it was
obtained from an illegal seizure. After a hearing, the trial
court denied the motion and entered findings of fact and
conclusions of law. Arrington pleaded guilty and was
sentenced to the agreed punishment, one year in the Harris
County jail. The court suspended his sentence and placed him
on community supervision for eighteen months.
only issue, Arrington contends that the trial court erred by
denying his motion to suppress because the deputy did not
have probable cause or exigent circumstances for a
warrantless arrest. Arrington argues that when the deputy
approached him, he was standing behind a fence on his
property, and therefore, he was within the curtilage of his
home. The State responds that the deputy had probable cause
to arrest Arrington for DWI and did not need a warrant
because DWI is a breach of the peace and Arrington was in a
suspicious place. Alternatively, the State argues that the
deputy developed probable cause and exigent circumstances to
arrest Arrington for evading arrest once he attempted to flee
from her order. We conclude that the trial court did not err
by denying Arrington's motion to suppress.
Standard of Review
review a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress
under a bifurcated standard of review. Turrubiate v.
State, 399 S.W.3d 147, 150 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013). We
review the trial court's factual findings for an abuse of
discretion, and we review the trial court's application
of the law to the facts de novo. Id. We give
deference to the trial court's factual determinations
because the trial court is the sole trier of fact, and the
sole judge of witness credibility and the weight to be given
testimony. Valtierra v. State, 310 S.W.3d 442, 447
(Tex. Crim. App. 2010). Our deferential review also applies
to the trial court's conclusions regarding mixed
questions of law and fact that turn on credibility or
demeanor. State v. Ortiz, 382 S.W.3d 367, 372 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2012). We review mixed questions of law and fact
that do not turn on credibility and demeanor, as well as
purely legal questions, de novo. State v. Woodard,
341 S.W.3d 404, 410 (Tex. Crim. App. 2011).
the trial court makes explicit findings of fact, we determine
whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable
to the trial court's ruling, supports the fact findings.
State v. Kelly, 204 S.W.3d 808, 818 (Tex. Crim. App.
2006). If the trial court fails to make a particular finding,
we imply a fact finding to support the trial court's
ruling when the evidence supports the implied finding.
See Gutierrez v. State, 221 S.W.3d 680, 687 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2007). We afford the prevailing party the
"strongest legitimate view of the evidence" and all
reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence.
State v. Duran, 396 S.W.3d 563, 571 (Tex. Crim. App.
2013) (quoting State v. Weaver, 349 S.W.3d 521, 525
(Tex. Crim. App. 2011)). We will uphold the trial court's
ruling if it is reasonably supported by the record and is
correct on any theory of law applicable to the case.
State v. Story, 445 S.W.3d 729, 732 (Tex. Crim. App.
Facts Adduced at Supression Hearing
witnesses testified at the hearing on the motion to suppress:
concerned citizen Brandon Conley and Deputy S. Latham of the
Harris County Sheriff's Office.
testified that at 2:00 a.m. on February 26, 2017, he called
911 after he saw a sports utility vehicle (SUV) drive by
going extremely fast. At the time, Conley was driving out of
his neighborhood. He followed the SUV for 12 or 13 miles as
it swerved back and forth, including into oncoming traffic.
He estimated that the SUV was driving faster than 100 miles
per hour because Conley only allowed ...