the County Court at Law No. 1 McLennan County, Texas Trial
Court No. 20173335CR1.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill.
Gray Chief Justice.
Joseph Meras was detained while driving and ultimately
charged with possession of a controlled substance. The trial
court granted Meras's motion to suppress. Because the
trial court erred in concluding there was no reasonable
suspicion to stop Meras for a violation of § 545.060(a)
of the Texas Transportation Code, we reverse the trial
court's Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Suppress
and remand this case to the trial court for further
court's ruling on a motion to suppress is reviewed on
appeal for abuse of discretion. State v. Cortez, 543
S.W.3d 198, 203 (Tex. Crim. App. 2018). The record is viewed
in the light most favorable to the trial court's
determination, and a trial court's ruling should be
reversed only if it is arbitrary, unreasonable, or outside
the zone of reasonable disagreement. Id.; State
v. Story, 445 S.W.3d 729, 732 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014).
Further, a trial court's ruling will not be reversed
based on a legal theory that the complaining party did not
present to it. Story, 445 S.W.3d at 732; Hailey
v. State, 87 S.W.3d 118, 122 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002).
Because the trial court is the sole trier of fact, we will
give almost total deference to the trial court's
determination of historical facts. Story, 445 S.W.3d
at 732; State v. Dixon, 206 S.W.3d 587, 590 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2006). The trial court's application of the
law to those facts, however, is reviewed de novo.
Id. We will sustain the trial court's decision
if we conclude that the decision is correct under any
applicable theory of law. Cortez, 543 S.W.3d at 203.
the hearing on Meras's motion to suppress, the trial
court found that Meras failed to drive as nearly as practical
entirely within a single lane. It further found that the
"movements between the lanes was not done in an unsafe
manner." Based on its findings, the trial court
concluded that section 545.060(a) was not violated because
Meras's movements were not unsafe, and thus also
concluded the officer had no reasonable suspicion to stop
State's sole issue on appeal is divided into three parts:
1. Must drivers drive in their own lane if possible;
2. If not, is that a reasonable view of the law; and
3. Does any opinion from this Court prohibit an officer from
acting on that reasonable view?
State contends, as it did in the trial below, that section
545.060(a) of the Texas Transportation Code creates two
independent obligations-one to stay within a lane (a duty)
and one to not change lanes unless it can be done safely (a
prohibition). See Tex. Transp. Code Ann. §
542.301(a) ("A person commits an offense if the person
performs an act prohibited or fails to perform an act
required by this subtitle."). Consequently, it argues,
one can violate the statute by failing to stay within a lane,
as it contends Meras did, regardless of whether anything
unsafe occurs. The State relies solely on the Court of
Criminal Appeals' plurality opinion in Leming v.
State, 493 S.W.3d 552 (Tex. Crim. App. 2015).
'plurality opinion' is that opinion in a fractured
decision that was joined by the highest number of judges or
justices." Unkart v. State, 400 S.W.3d 94, 100
(Tex. Crim. App. 2013). Generally, a plurality opinion has no
binding precedential value, and we are not required to follow
it. Vasquez v. State, 389 S.W.3d 361, 370 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2012). However, although we are not required to
follow Leming, we, nevertheless, agree with the
plurality's decision in Leming and the reasoning
to support that decision. Specifically, we agree that it is
an independent offense to fail to remain entirely within a
marked lane of traffic when it is otherwise practical to do
so, regardless of whether the deviation from the marked lane
is, under the particular circumstances, unsafe. Leming v.
State, 493 S.W.3d 552, 559-60 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016).
Thus, the answer to the State's first question in its
issue is, "yes," and the State's sole issue is
sustained. We need not address the other
the trial court's conclusion that Meras's failure to
drive as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane
was not unsafe, and thus, there was no reasonable suspicion
to stop Meras for a violation of the statue is not correct
under any applicable theory of law. See Cortez, 543
S.W.3d at 203. The trial court's Order Granting
Defendant's Motion to Suppress is ...