Attorney Doug Riddell Interviewed on Bill Proposing Increased Penalties for First-Time OVI Offenders

April 02, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus, Ohio DUI Law   |   Comments Off

Doug Riddell Attorney Interview

 

Proposed H.B. 469 is currently under consideration by the Ohio General Assembly.  The bill would amend Ohio’s OVI law as it applies to first-time offenders charged with an OVI.

Under the proposed law, any first-time offender whose driver’s license has been suspended may file for driving privileges with a certified interlock device during the suspension.

If the court receives notice that the interlock device was tampered with or that the offender was prevented from starting the vehicle due to a failed test, penalties may increase.  For example, the court could double the suspension period, double the period of time in which the offender must drive with an interlock,

If the court receives notice that the offender was driving a vehicle without the interlock, the court could order an ankle monitor.

Similar bills have been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly and have failed.  This time, however, the bill appears to be gaining momentum and support.  Bills proposing similar increased penalties for first time offenders have been proposed in states across the US.   At present 20 states require or “highly incentivize” interlock devices for all DUI offenders–including first time offenders.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the force behind the national push for amended legislation.  Interestingly, MADD contends that an interlock program would eliminate the need for a “hard suspension” following a DUI charge.  

Under current Ohio law, if you fail a breathalyzer test, your license is under a “hard suspension” for 15 days (during which time you are not eligible to get driving privileges).  If you refuse the test, your hard suspension is 30 days.  

MADD argues that this “hard suspension” is unnecessary and that first time offenders should be given privileges right away, but with an interlock.  Unfortunately, review of the current version of Ohio’s H.B. 469 does not include elimination of this hard time suspension.

For the full story on the H.B. 469 (“Annie’s Law), please see the news story and Attorney Doug Riddell’s interview above.

 

 

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Douglas Riddell Named “Top Lawyer” by Columbus CEO Magazine

March 16, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus, Ohio DUI Law   |   Comments Off

Douglas Riddell Attorney

In addition to being named an Ohio SuperLawyer Rising Star earlier this year, we are honored to announce that Attorney Douglas Riddell has been named by Columbus CEO Magazine to its list of “Top Lawyers” in Columbus.

This past week, Columbus CEO Magazine published its list of Top Lawyers in Columbus for 2014, which includes “Central Ohio attorneys who have achieved elite status by being rated AV Preeminent by their peers.”

To achieve this elite status in the Martindale-Hubbell ratings, lawyers: “must first pass muster by meeting criteria for having ‘very high’ general ethical standards.  They are then examined for legal ability.  The Martindale-Hubbell rating system invites confidential ratings of attorneys by other lawyers who know their professional conduct.  Peers are asked to make numerical rankings based on a lawyer’s legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience.”  (Columbus CEO.)

The result “is a list of local lawyers most-highly rated by those who know them best — their legal colleagues.” (Columbus CEO.)

Douglas Riddell’s practice focuses on criminal, DUI/OVI and traffic defense.  His full profile may be found here.

 

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Victory in the Ohio Supreme Court in State v. Romage

March 06, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus Criminal Defense,Ohio Courts   |   Comments Off

Back in the Fall, Bridget Purdue Riddell of Riddell Law LLC argued in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of Appellee in the case of State v. Romage, Slip Opinion 2014-Ohio-783.  We are proud to announce that the decision was released today and the Court found in favor of our client.

The full decision can be found here.  Our firm successfully argued that the statute at issue is unconstitutional — and won at the trial court, Tenth District Court of Appeals, and now in the Ohio Supreme Court.

At issue is Ohio’s child-enticement statute, R.C. 2905.05(A).  We argued that the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad because it sweeps within its prohibitions a significant amount of innocent, constitutionally protected activity.   The Ohio Supreme Court agreed and struck the statute as unconstitutional.

Our client was charged with criminal child enticement after offering neighborhood kids a few quarters to help him move boxes into his apartment.    Before trial, we filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, challenging the statute as overbroad and unconstitutional.   The Tenth District Court of Appeals agreed, finding that R.C. 2905.05(A) “sweeps within its prohibitions a significant amount of constitutionally protected activity.”  10th Dist. Franklin No. 11AP-822, 2012-Ohio-3381, 974 N.E.2d 120, ¶ 14.    The State appealed and we proceeded to the Ohio Supreme Court on a certified conflict with a First District Court of Appeals case that had upheld the statute.

Among the many arguments raised, the State argued that the term “solicit” in R.C. 2905.05(A) should be narrowly construed.  In response, we argued that even without the word “solicit,” the statute still criminalizes innocent conduct.

The statute provides:

“No person, by any means and without privilege to do so, shall knowingly solicit, coax, entice, or lure any child under fourteen years of age to accompany the person in any manner, including entering into any vehicle or onto any vessel, whether or not the offender knows the age of the child, if both of the following apply:

(1) The actor does not have express or implied permission of the parent, guardian, or other legal custodian of the child in undertaking the activity.
(2) The actor is not a law enforcement officer, medic, firefighter, or other person who regularly provides emergency services, and is not an employee or agent of, or a volunteer acting under the direction of, any board of education, or the actor is any  of such persons, but, at the time the actor undertakes the activity,  the actor is not acting within the scope of the actor’s lawful duties  in that capacity.”

The statute was amended in July of 2013 to add subsection (C), which states: “No person, for any unlawful purpose other than, or in addition to, that proscribed by division (A) of this section, shall engage in any activity described in division (A) of this section.”   However, the language in R.C. 2905.05(A) — which was at issue in this case — remained unchanged.

In finding the statue unconstitutional, the Court noted the legitimate and compelling interest in protecting children from abduction.  But the Court explained that “a statute that defines criminal conduct should not include what is constitutionally protected  activity. Even though the state has a legitimate and compelling interest in  protecting children from abduction and lewd acts, a statute intended to promote legitimate goals that can be regularly and improperly applied to prohibit protected  expression and activity is unconstitutionally overbroad.”

The fatal flaw here was that the statute failed to require the intent to commit any unlawful act.  For example, “[t]here is no requirement that the offender be aggressive  toward the victim,” the Court explains.

Therefore, the statute could criminalize: (1) a primary-school coach offering to drive a team member home to retrieve a forgotten piece of practice equipment; (2) a parent at a community  facility offering to drive another’s child home so she does not have to walk;  (3) a  senior citizen offering a 13-year-old neighborhood child money to help with household chores; (4) a 14-year-old asking his 12-year-old friend to go for a bike ride. 

“Short of rewriting R.C. 2905.05(A), which is the province of the legislature rather than the court, we cannot construe the statute in such a way as to find it constitutional.” 

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Obstructed License Plates in Ohio

February 14, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus, Ohio DUI Law   |   Comments Off

Often when our clients are charged with OVI or a drug offense based upon alleged paraphernalia found in a vehicle, the initial reason for the stop has nothing to do with the subsequent charge.  For example, many clients are pulled over for speeding or another moving violation, which then leads to an OVI or drug charge once the officer approaches the car.

One interesting charge, however, is obstructed plates.  Ohio law requires that license plates be in “plain view” in both the front and rear of a vehicle on the road, and that they should not obstructed by anything.  But under one recent Ohio court of appeals case, this charge has many potential holes if it is used by an officer to open the door to a prolonged traffic stop or more serious charge.  Here is what happened.

In State v. Jones, officers testified that they observed a black Ford Explorer with a rear license plate that they claim could not be read.  One officer testified that rear license plate was partially obstructed by a tinted license plate cover and a ball mounted to the draw bar of the trailer hitch.

The officers say they followed the SUV for several blocks in an attempt to read the license plate. When they couldn’t, they pulled the SUV over.  One officer approached the vehicle and determined that there was no threat.  The other officer walked to the rear of the vehicle where he was able to read the entire license plate.

When asked for his driver’s license, the defendant admitted he didn’t have a valid Ohio license and that his license was suspended.   That police department by policy towed the vehicle because the driver’s license was suspended and the owner (the driver’s mother) was not present.

While doing an inventory of the car to be towed, the officers found a bag containing what appeared to be crack cocaine in the passenger side pocket.  The officers arrested the defendant and charged him with drug trafficking, drug possession and possessing criminal tools.

The defendant filed a motion to suppress.  At the hearing, the defendant argued that his rear license plate was not obstructed and, therefore, the officers had no reason to stop him.  He also introduced a photo of the rear license plate in which the entire rear license plate could be seen.   Additionally, the defendant’s mother (the car’s owner) testified that she received a traffic-camera ticket, which proved that the license plate was not obstructed.

Further, he argued that there was no reasonable suspicion to support stopping and detaining the defendant when the only reason he was pulled over was for an obstructed plate.   And once he was pulled over, the officer could see the plate.  In order to stop and detain someone, the police must have “reasonable suspicion”.  This means that there must be some objective reason that the police believe criminal activity is afoot.

In a similar prior case involving an obscured plate, the officer pulled the defendant over and subsequently arrested him for an OVI.  The court found that although the officer testified that he could not read the license plate when he pulled the defendant over, he could read the plate once he got out of his car and approached the vehicle.   Once the officer could read the license plate, he no longer had any reason to detain the defendant for an OVI investigation.

The Ohio Supreme Court case on point is State v. Chatton, 11 Ohio St.3d 59, 463 N.E.2d 1237 (1984), which said:

“[w]here a police officer stops a motor vehicle which displays neither front nor rear license plates, but upon approaching the stopped vehicle observes a temporary tag which is visible through the rear windshield, the driver of the vehicle may not be detained further to determine the validity of his driver’s license absent some specific and articulable facts that the detention was reasonable.”

Similarly here, once the officers could read the plate, they should have let the defendant on his way.  There was no other separate and articulable reason to continue the stop.

Thus, the appeals court affirmed and all drug evidence found in the car was thrown out.

If you were charged with obstructed license plates, which snowballed into another charge, talk to an attorney.  This court precedent could mean that the stop was improper, which could potential lead to your case being thrown out of court.  Talking to an attorney about the details of your case will give you the best idea as to whether this case law applies in your situation.

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Sudden Emergency Defense to Failure to Control Charge

February 03, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus Traffic Law   |   Comments Off

A recent case out of Delaware County highlights a potential defense to a failure to control charge in Ohio. With the very icy and snowy weather we have been having lately, we are seeing many cases of clients facing failure to control charges after sliding on ice.

Generally, if you slide off the road and get into an accident, the court will likely conclude that you failed to maintain reasonable control.  However, one potential defense is the existence of a “sudden emergency.”  This exception has been recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court, although it may apply only in a narrow category of cases.

For example, in State v. Thomas, 2014-Ohio-319,  the defendant was driving his his pickup truck with a front snowplow on a two-lane road around 3:00 am.  His business was snow removal and he was working at the time.  The speed limit was 55 mph and he was driving between 25 and 30 mph.

However, a dump truck driving in the opposite direction with an oversized plow was “encroaching” onto the defendant’s lane.  The defendant moved to the right of his lane and two of his truck’s tires went off the road onto the grass.   After the other snowplow passed, he tried to turn left to reenter his lane.   He slid across the center line, went off the road, and crashed into an embankment and into a tree.

A trooper saw the defendant’s lights in the ditch and approached.   On the scene, the driver said he “overcorrected” and went off the left side of the road.  In his written statement, he also said he had “over [compensated].”   The trooper wrote him a ticket for failure to maintain reasonable control, a violation of R.C. 4511.202.  The trial court found him guilty and the defendant appealed.

On appeal, defendant argued that he was confronted by a sudden emergency not of his making and beyond his control.

The operation without reasonable control statute says:

“(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle * * * on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic without being in reasonable control of the vehicle * * * “

Generally, driving into a ditch demonstrates a lack of reasonable control.  However, the Ohio Supreme Court has held that if the driver is the victim of a “sudden emergency,” his failure to comply is excused.   For example, courts have found that skidding on a wet or icy roadway is preventable by the driver.  Bad road conditions alone are not enough.   However, if there is a true emergency, the failure to control may be excused.

Here, the driver testified that he was aware of the snowy conditions and was driving carefully, that he moved to allow the other snowplow additional room, and that only when he brought his truck back onto the road did he veer into the embankment.

Nonetheless, his prior statement on the scene that he “overcompensated” while attempting to get back onto the roadway ended up being fatal.  The judge believed his statement at the scene rather than his statement on the stand and found that he did not face a sudden emergency that would excuse his loss of control.

Had he not made this statement on the scene, this might have been a different case.  If he truly was driving carefully for the snowy conditions and was pushed off of the road, there may have been a viable “sudden emergency” defense.

If you have been charged with failure to control and would like to contest the charge, call our office to speak with a Columbus traffic attorney.

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NOT GUILTY Jury Verdict in DUI Jury Trial

January 24, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus, Ohio DUI Law   |   Comments Off

We are proud to report that Attorney Douglas Riddell obtained a not guilty verdict for a client today after a 2 day OVI jury trial  in Lancaster, Ohio.  

Our client was pulled over at 2:44 AM for having expired tags. Upon pulling him over, the officer testified that he believed our clients eyes were glassy and that he smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle.  Our client submitted to a series of field sobriety tests.  However, the field sobriety tests were conducted out of view of the dash camera.   Our client refused to submit to a breath test.  

Our client testified at trial.  After a two-day trial, the jury returned a NOT GUILTY verdict on all charges.  

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The Problem with “Pacing” Suspected Speeders

January 08, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus, Ohio DUI Law   |   Comments Off

An Ohio appeals court issued an interesting decision the other day on the issue of pacing.  The case is State v. Jarosz, 2013-Ohio-5839.  

“Pacing” is a method often used by officers to determine whether a driver is speeding.  But, in order to properly pace a vehicle, the officer must take certain steps.  In this case, for example, the officer failed to maintain an equal distance between himself and the suspected offender (as established by video evidence).  Because his pacing was faulty, the whole stop was thrown out and the defendant’s OVI charge dismissed.

Here is what happened.

The Stop

In this case, the State Highway Patrol Trooper testified that about 11:30 p.m., he observed a car was in front of him driving in the same direction.  Based on a “visual estimation,” he said the car was going over the 45 mph speed limit.   He paced the car at 52 mph, but said he never got a steady pace due to fluctuating speed, so he continued to follow the car.

Once the driver passed into a 40 mph zone, the trooper said he “focused on keeping the same distance between his cruiser” and driver’s car for 12 seconds.  He determined that the driver was going 48 mph and said he was “a hundred percent positive that [he] had a good speed pace on him” and that he was going 48 mph.

The trooper pulled the car over for speeding.  The trooper testified that he detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the interior of the car, but he could not tell whether the smell was coming from the driver or one of the passengers.   The driver and passengers said they were coming from a nearby bar. The trooper also testified that the driver’s eyes were “glassed over.”   However, his speech was not slurred and he was cooperative during the stop.  

The trooper asked the driver to get out of the car to perform field sobriety tests.  First, he had the defendant sit in the cruiser, where he confirmed that the defendant’s eyes were glassy.  At that time, he also detected a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath.  He performed field sobriety tests, was subsequently arrested and blew a .088 at the station.

The Problem with Pacing

At the motion hearing, the trooper was questioned about the pace method.  He said that in order to pace a car, he has to maintain the same distance between his cruiser and the defendant’s vehicle. Then, once the trooper determines his own speed, he can determine the defendant’s speed.

If the trooper is going faster than the defendant while trying to pace him, he generally can’t get a good pace – because he can’t maintain the same distance.

The problem in this particular case was the video.  The judge found that the video of the stop showed that the trooper did not maintain an equal distance while pacing.  Because the pacing was inaccurate, there were no grounds to stop the defendant’s car.

Next, the defendant argued that the trooper lacked sufficient grounds to require him to exit his car for field sobriety tests. However, because the court found that there were no grounds for the stop, “the trooper did not have authority to require [the driver] to exit his vehicle.

If you have been pulled over for speeding and received an OVI citation or other charge stemming from the stop, you should consider investigating the officer’s method.  If he paced you to determine your speed, one potential defense is that he failed to maintain equal distance while pacing.  Video evidence is key in establishing this defense.  Talk to an Ohio traffic attorney about your case and options.

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Is Expert Testimony Necessary to Prove Reliability of Moving Radar or Laser Speed Devices in Ohio?

January 03, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus Traffic Law   |   Comments Off

ohio speed gun radar

The Eighth District Court of Appeals decided an interesting case last week regarding expert testimony, judicial notice and radar speed guns in Ohio.  Cleveland v. Craig, 2013-Ohio-5742.  The case delves into the history of radar speed devices and the ways in which Ohio courts have tested and determined their accuracy from the 1950′s forward.

The facts of the case itself are straightforward.  The defendant was charged with speeding in a school zone, charged in the case as a third-degree misdemeanor.  The defendant was driving on a road that is normally 35 mph, but is reduced to 20 mph in school zones during certain hours.    The officer testified that he observed the defendant’s car moving faster than the flow of traffic and estimated the speed at 30-32 mph.  His radar showed 32 mph.  At trial, the defendant testified that she believed the speed limit was 35 mph and did not believe she was speeding.  She said she was going “20 something” when she was pulled over.

The question before the Court of Appeals was this:  Can an Ohio court take judicial notice of moving radar generally?  Or can a court only take notice of a specific radar device?  Or does an expert have to testify in each case to establish the accuracy of radar technology?

History of the Police Radar Speed Gun

The case is interesting because it takes a historical look at the development of radar.  The case notes that radar was initially developed in England in the late 1930′s.  The radar speed gun was developed for the military during WWII and the inventor, John Barker Sr., tested on cars in Connecticut when he returned from the war.

The case cites a recent interesting article in the New York Times - Pagan Kennedy, Innovation: Who Made That Traffic Radar?, The New York Times (Aug. 30, 2013).  Barker had been working on traffic lights in the 1930′s prior to the war, but focused his attention on military uses during WWII. 

The New York Times article notes that in 1947, the town of Glastonbury, Conn., first tried out the radar gun, “creating what was perhaps the world’s first speed trap.”   The article notes that the radar was first challenged in 1955 by a Connecticut woman contested her speeding ticket in court.  At trial, her attorney “protested about a ‘lack of fair play’ on the part of the police for pointing this high-powered, wartime technology at drivers.”  The inventor – Barker – himself testified at the trial.  Apparently, he was called in frequently as an expert witness to defend his invention.)

Today, officers use digital radar guns — far more accurate than the old analog radar.  

Ohio Courts Take Judicial Notice of Stationary Radar Accuracy 

The Craig case goes on to note that more than 50 years ago, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the reliability of the scientific principles underlying the use of stationary radar could be established without the need for expert testimony. E. Cleveland v. Ferell, 168 Ohio St. 298, 154 N.E.2d 630 (1958), syllabus.   This means that the prosecutor was not required to get an expert in every speeding trial to “reprove” each time the accuracy of the radar technology. 

The Ferell case, however, dealt with stationary radar using the “S” band frequency–which was the only device used in the 1950′s.   As technology evolved and police began using moving radar devices, Ohio courts changed their stance a bit.  For a time, Ohio courts held that where a moving radar device is involved, “expert testimony or judicial notice of the construction and accuracy of moving radar devices is required to sustain a conviction based on a reading from such device.” Cleveland v. Craig, 2013-Ohio-5742.  {¶17}

The Current Standard: Uncertain 

The Eight District Court of Appeals (Cleveland) went further, holding in 2008 that “all radar-based speed measuring devices in use today, and arguably all laser-based units now in use, are reliable, even in the absence of expert testimony as to their reliability.” Tisdale, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 89877, 2008-Ohio-2807, at ¶ 15.

The focus of a challenge in court today, then, is generally on “the accuracy of the particular speed meter involved as established by proper calibration and the training and qualifications of the person using it, rather than the science behind it.”  

Discussing the proper standard to apply, the Cleveland Court of Appeals found that unless the Ohio Supreme Court says otherwise, it will continue to hold that stationary radar devices are reliable and the prosecution doesn’t need to bring in an expert to establish reliability.  

As for moving radar and laser speed devices, the Court of Appeals made a direct appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, stating: “Further, in light of the increasing debate among appellate courts, we would encourage the Ohio Supreme Court to consider whether expert testimony should be required to establish the general reliability of moving-radar and laser speed devices.” 

In the Craig case, the officer’s vehicle was stationary when it clocked the defendant going 32 mph.   Because it was stationary, it was admissible without expert testimony.   Additionally, the officer’s qualifications, certifications, and proper calibration of the device were established.  Cleveland v. Craig, 2013-Ohio-5742. 

It will be interesting to see what happens next.  Will the Ohio Supreme Court take up the issue of expert testimony in the context of moving radar and laser speed devices?   

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Ohio’s New “Move Over” Law

December 30, 2013  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus Traffic Law   |   Comments Off

Ohio move over law

The Columbus Dispatch today has an article discussing Ohio’s revised “move over” law.

The new law is found is R.C. 4511.213, which says that a driver, upon approaching a stationary public safety vehicle, an emergency vehicle, tow truck, construction, maintenance or public utilities vehicle must either:

(1) If there are at least two lanes going in the same direction, change lanes to the lane furthest from the emergency vehicle (if possible with regard to weather, etc.), or

(2) If on a two lane highway where it is impossible to change lanes or changing lanes would be unsafe, the driver must “proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle, and maintain a safe speed for the road, weather, and traffic conditions.”

The law has been in place since 2004, but the old version required drivers to move over only for emergency vehicles, public safety vehicles or tow trucks.  The new version expands the law to include construction, maintenance and public utilities vehicles.

Violation of the “move over” law is a minor misdemeanor for a first offense.  However, if you have a prior speeding ticket or other traffic violation within the prior year, the offense is considered a more serious fourth degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 30 days in jail.  Similarly, if you have two prior speeding tickets or other traffic violations within the previous year, the offense is an even more serious third degree misdemeanor, carrying up to 60 days in jail.

The law also provides that if you are found guilty of failure to move over, fines are doubled.  In other words, for a first offense where the usual max for a minor misdemeanor is $150, the fine would be $300.  For a second offense, where the usual max for a fourth degree misdemeanor is $250, the fine would be $500.  For a third offense, where the usual max for a third degree misdemeanor is $500, the doubled fine would be $1000.

The Dispatch notes that violators will receive warnings instead of citations over the next three months. After that, officers will begin writing tickets.

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Marijuana Possession Case Thrown Out Due to Unlawful Traffic Stop

December 17, 2013  |   Posted by :   |   Columbus Criminal Defense,Ohio Drug Laws   |   Comments Off

The defendant’s pickup truck was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.  The trooper said that the defendant drove outside the fog line once and onto the fog line twice.  He also noted that the defendant had California plates.

Upon pulling him over, the trooper asked the defendant how long he had been in California, where he was going, where he lived, etc.  Throughout the stop, the defendant repeatedly said that he did not break any traffic laws and didn’t understand why he had been pulled over.  The trooper said he would give him a warning if he was able to verify his license and registration.

But before verifying the driver’s license, the trooper said he smelled marijuana and asked if there were any drugs in the car.  The defendant said no.   But the trooper nonetheless put the defendant in the cruiser and called in a drug dog.  The drug dog alerted to the bed of the truck, and the search found 45 lbs of marijuana.  The defendant was charged with trafficking, drug possession, possession of criminal tools and  possession of drug paraphernalia.

In court, he filed a motion to suppress arguing that the stop was illegal.  Ultimately, the court found that there were no credible facts supporting that the driver committed any traffic violation and that the trooper lacked reasonable suspicion to stop him.   In weighing the trooper’s testimony against the testimony of the defendant, the court found the defendant’s testimony more credible.

When it comes to traffic stops, an officer can only pull you over if there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, such as a traffic violation.  The trooper testified that he observed the defendant drive over the fog line three times.  The trooper’s dashboard camera, however, did not show any movement over the line by the defendant’s car.

The defendant, on the other hand, said that he saw the trooper, and that the trooper began following him very closely.  He stood by his testimony that he did not swerve at all from his lane.   Because he knew the officer was behind him, he made sure he did everything to comply with the traffic laws.

The court believed the defendant over the trooper.  As a result, all evidence of the marijuana discovered in the truck was thrown out and all charges dismissed.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession or other drug charge as the result of a traffic stop, talk to an Ohio criminal defense about the details of your case.  If the stop was illegal — if there was no traffic violation  – your case could be thrown out.

State v. Liebling, 2013-Ohio-5491.

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