An investigatory stop may also be known as a “Terry” stop. This allows an officer to stop a vehicle when he or she has a “reasonable suspicion” based on specific “articulable facts” that an offense has been or is being committed. This is a subjective standard measured by a totality of the circumstances test.
So, for the stop to be valid, the officer must point to something specific that warrants the intrusion. Things that may be considered are: location, the officers training and experience, the suspect’s conduct or appearance, and any surrounding circumstances.
In addition, a police bulletin or broadcast, due to its inherent trustworthiness, generally provides for a sufficient basis to effectuate a traffic stop. Courts have held that an officer’s conduct on relying on a bulletin or broadcast, balancing the nature and quality of the intrusion against the importance of he governmental interest justifies the stop.
However, there is a three-step analysis for assessing the stop:
- the flyer or bulletin must be issued from a police source possessing as articulable and reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity;
- the flyer or bulletin must be objectively reviewed by law enforcement recipients of the information to determine if they can rely on it;
- the stop must be not be significantly more intrusive than would have been permitted by the issuing department.
In a motion to suppress, the State needs to provide evidence from the source of the report to show the factual basis upon which it relied. The State cannot rely on a good faith exception on the information when making the initial traffic stop.
Remember, if you have been charged with an OVI in Ohio, call SUHRE & ASSOCIATES at 614-827-2000. The call is FREE and there in never any obligation. Our Columbus OVI attorneys include ex-prosecutors and an ex-police officer.