In Spence v. State, the Court of Criminal Appeals heard a case where the defendant was convicted of possession with intent to deliver cocaine that a police officer found during a pat-down search for weapons after he stopped him for traffic violations, one of which was failure to properly display his front license plate. The defendant objected to the jury charge and proposed two instructions: 1. He requested that the jury be instructed that it is not a violation of the Transportation Code to have a front license plate in the front windshield. Two, that there was a factual dispute as to whether he was parked on the sidewalk.
The appellate court held that the plain language of the Transportation Code statute requires that a license plate be displayed at the foremost of part or front of the vehicle, most commonly the front bumper. The issue was whether a license plate being displayed was interpreted by the Court of Criminal Appeals as being unambiguous at the front of the car.
Thus, the ruling of guilty for Intent to Deliver Drugs was upheld.