An informants tip can come in a variety of ways if you are stopped for a Columbus, Ohio OVI. The first may be a phone call to 911. The dispatcher will generally ask the callers location and for a description of the vehicle and its license plate number. The tip may come from the Ohio Grab DUI Hotline. That number is 800-Grab-DUI. OR, the caller may just call the non-emergency number for the appropriate police department.
In most cases, the anonymous tip may not, by itself, justify an officers stop. It may be used to initially alert officers. However, the officers subsequent observations must be justified in determining if the officer had the right to stop the vehicle.
If the court considers the tip, alone, than the State has the burden to prove that the facts underlying the dispatch justify a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and that alone may justify an investigatory stop. Please refer back to the earlier blog to read about investigatory stops and the threshold.
Courts have established that there are three categories of informants:
1. the anonymous informant who is deemed comparatively unreliable which requires police corroboration;
2. the known informant who has previously provided reliable information to the police;
3. and the identified citizen informant whose tip is deemed reliable and may require less indicia of reliability that other types of informants.
A qualified Columbus OVI attorney must assess and determine which type of tip the case is dealing with and the reliability of that tip. Once that is established, the threshold can be detrained and a theory of litigation can be developed to fight the stop.