Appeal from the 21st District Court Lee County, Texas Trial
Court Cause No. 8733
consists of Justices Christopher, Spain, and Poissant.
raises two issues in this appeal from a conviction for
possession of a controlled substance. First, she argues that
her conviction must be reversed because the trial court
abused its discretion when it denied her motion to suppress.
Second, she argues that, even if her conviction is not
reversed, the judgment must be modified because of a clerical
error in the description of the offense. We overrule the
first issue and do not address the second issue. As we
explain more fully below, the sentence is void because the
trial court assessed a punishment that is outside the
statutory range. We therefore reverse the trial court's
judgment and remand for a new hearing on punishment only.
case is ultimately about drugs, but it begins with a
evening, five men approached appellant's home with the
intention of robbing her husband. Appellant's husband was
a known drug dealer, and he had been robbed two months
earlier by some of these very same men. One of the five men
had not participated in that earlier robbery, and as soon as
that man arrived at appellant's home, he began
discharging a firearm into the residence. This man's
shooting undermined the plans of the other four men, which
caused the robbery to be unsuccessful.
husband suffered fatal injuries during the course of the
attempted robbery. Appellant and her children, who had also
been at home at that time, managed to escape unharmed.
was distraught during the immediate aftermath of the
attempted robbery. When police arrived on scene, she was
visibly upset, crying, and mourning the loss of her husband.
hours after the first officers arrived, appellant signed a
written form in which she consented to have her home
searched. Police thereupon found more than six thousand
dollars in cash, as well as nearly one-half kilogram of
was eventually charged with the possession of that cocaine,
which she sought to suppress by arguing that her consent had
been involuntary and that the search of her home had been
conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Two witnesses
testified at the hearing on the motion to suppress: a captain
from the sheriff's office, who claimed that appellant had
wanted to assist in the investigation; and appellant herself,
who claimed that she had no recollection of signing the
trial court rejected appellant's claim and issued a
ruling denying her motion to suppress. Appellant then pleaded
guilty to a reduced charge and filed this appeal, which was
transferred to us from the Third Court of Appeals by order of
the Texas Supreme Court.
as here, a defendant alleges that evidence was obtained in
violation of the Fourth Amendment, the defendant bears the
initial burden of rebutting the presumption of proper police
conduct. See Ford v. State, 158 S.W.3d 488, 492
(Tex. Crim. App. 2005). The defendant can satisfy this burden
by producing some evidence that a search or seizure occurred
without a warrant. Id. Once the defendant has made
this initial showing, the burden of proof shifts to the
State, which must then establish that there actually was a
warrant or that the search or seizure was reasonable.
hearing on the motion to suppress, the State acknowledged
that appellant's home was searched without the benefit of
a search warrant. However, the State argued that the search
was reasonable because it was performed with appellant's
is a recognized exception to the Fourth Amendment's
warrant requirement. See Gutierrez v. State, 221
S.W.3d 680, 686 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007). But for this
exception to apply, the State must show with clear and
convincing evidence that the consent was given voluntarily.
Id. This burden requires the State to show that the
consent was not the result of duress or coercion.
Id. When deciding whether this burden was met, we
examine the totality of the circumstances. Id. at
factors may be considered when deciding whether consent was
given voluntarily, including the maturity or youth of the
defendant, her education and intelligence, any constitutional
advice that was given to her, the length of any detention,
the repetitiveness of any questioning, and any use of
physical punishment. See Reasor v. State, 12 S.W.3d
813, 818 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000). A court may also consider
whether the defendant was warned that her consent was not
required. See Meeks v. State, 692 S.W.2d 504, 510
(Tex. Crim. App. 1985).
issues of consent are necessarily fact-intensive, a trial
court's finding of voluntariness must be accepted on
appeal unless it is clearly erroneous. See Meekins v.
State, 340 S.W.3d 454, 460 (Tex. Crim. App. 2011). This
means that the party that prevailed in the trial court is
afforded the strongest legitimate view of the evidence and
all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that
evidence. Id. Although we defer to the trial
court's determination of historical facts, we review de
novo any application of law to ...