Motion to Suppress Granted in DWI

By Allen, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Kyle T. Therrian
Office Number: (972) 562-7549
24 Hr Jail Release: (214) 403-6522


Motion to suppress granted in DWI case where client was stopped after being asked to leave a bar located at the Shops at Legacy. 911 Caller was employee with bar and reported that he was “calling about a guy we asked to leave tonight.” The Caller described client and client’s vehicle but failed to describe a reason for why client was asked to leave or why police intervention was necessary. 911 operator took the liberty of filling those details in before relaying to officers information on the “drunk driver” leaving the bar.

Legal argument focused largely on Arguellez v. State, Nos. PD-0997-12 and PD-0998-12 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013) and Colston v. State, 511 S.W.2d 10 (Tex. Crim. App., 1974).

In Arguellez the Court of Criminal Appeals explained that an officer may conduct a traffic stop based upon reported “non-criminal” activity, only when the series of observations described by a 911 caller, placed into context, suggests imminent or recent criminal activity. The Court seemed to suggest that if, after considering the totality of all the circumstances, there remains legitimate explanation for the observations reported to 911, then officers may not conduct a traffic stop.

In Colston the Court of Criminal Appeals addressed scenarios where false information is relayed to an officer by 911 dispatch. In Client’s case, the officer would have been entitled to conduct a traffic stop had the 911 caller actually described client as an intoxicated person, but the information relayed to officers did not reflect that which was actually reported. The Court of Criminal Appeals in Colston held that courts must focus on the information actually known by the 911 dispatcher.

The information actually known in Client’s case amounted to “non-criminal” observations for which, in the totality of all the circumstances, there was plenty of legitimate explanations. There was no suggestion of imminent or recent criminal activity.

*Kyle Therrian is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on any case you should contact an attorney directly.

Speak Your Mind