Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A Fredericksburg police officer stopped a vehicle being driven by Craig Hill Johnson solely because the license plate on Johnson’s vehicle was partially obscured by the dealer-installed license plate frame. Johnson was subsequently charged with felony driving while intoxicated. Before trial Johnson moved to suppress the evidence and fruits of his arrest and search, because the arrest was “without a warrant and without reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest.” In his testimony, the police officer identified a photograph of the license plate with the license plate frame; and Johnson in his testimony identified a photograph of the license plate without the dealer-installed frame. A comparison of the two photographs establishes that the frame entirely covers the phrase “THE LONE STAR STATE” and probably covers the images of the space shuttle and the starry night. The trial court granted Johnson’s motion, concluding that, because an observer could read the numbers and tell that the plate was a Texas plate, the stop was not justified. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The license plate frame on Johnson’s vehicle entirely covered the phrase “THE LONE STAR STATE” and probably covered the images of the space shuttle and the starry night; and these images and phrase are all original design elements of the plate. Accordingly, the police officer had reasonable suspicion of a violation of Texas Transportation Code �502.409(a)(7) and a valid basis to make the stop; consequently, the trial court erred in granting Johnson’s motion to suppress, the court concludes. OPINION:Duncan, J.; Duncan, Speedlin and Simmons, J.J.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.