If you are stopped for a traffic violation, the 4th and 14th Amendment are applicable since it has been deemed a “seizure” under Ohio case law. Thus, there is a certain standard that an officer must meet when making a traffic stop.
Thus, the officer must have probable cause to stop a vehicle or at least have an articulable reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the stop. This standard is based on a totality of circumstances approach, measured subjectively by the court.
So, if an officer sees you commit a traffic violation, that will justify the officer’s stop. Keep in mind, that where the officer did not see any traffic violations occur, no criminal violations or any suspicious activity, an Ohio court has held that the officer’s stop was not justified and deemed it illegal.
Therefore, in a Columbus, OVI case it is important to analyze and assess why the officer pulled you over. Once that issue is determined, a motion to suppress evidence should be filed to call into questions the legality of the stop.
Through aggressive cross-examination of the officer, it may be possible to ascertain that the officer did not see any type of criminal activity and that he or she pulled you over on a “hunch”. The Ohio courts have been quick to hold that an officer’s hunch is not enough to justify the stop of a motor vehicle.
Assessing the case for these deficiencies is essential to developing a complete defense to a Columbus, Ohio OVI case.
So, if you or a family member has been charged with an OVI, call SUHRE & ASSOCIATES as 614-827-2000 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our lawyers include a former police officer and a former prosecuting attorney. Don’t wait, the call is free and there is never an obligation.