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A Message from the Ohio Attorney General

Dear Colleagues,
I am proud to introduce the Ohio Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Bulletin. 
Supporting Ohio’s hardworking law enforcement officers is one of my top priorities as Attorney General. With that in mind, we have developed this monthly newsletter to keep you and your fellow officers informed of important legal cases and trending topics. 


Don’t miss the ‘red flags’ of human trafficking

The average person might see a “massage parlor” as a front for prostitution. A trained peace officer, though, could recognize it as the most visible aspect of an underground human trafficking ring.


United States v. Jones - U.S. Supreme Court, Jan. 23, 2012

Question: Is attaching and monitoring a GPS device on a suspect’s vehicle a Fourth Amendment “search”?
Quick answer: Yes. You should get a warrant first.


Ryburn v. Huff - U.S. Supreme Court, Jan. 23, 2012

Question: Does a warrantless entry into a home make you civilly liable if you entered only because you thought someone might be in imminent danger?
Quick answer: Most likely, no, because you probably would have qualified immunity.


State v. Gould - Ohio Supreme Court, Jan. 17, 2012

Question: Do the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions protect abandoned property from warrantless search and seizure?
Quick answer: No. Abandoned property is fair game for a warrantless search.


State v. Hoskins - Ohio Court of Appeals, Second District (Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, and Montgomery counties) Jan. 6, 2012

Question: When you take multiple suspects into custody, should you immediately read the suspects their Miranda rights before asking anyquestions?
Quick answer: Yes, probably. This helps avoid violating a suspect’s right against self-incrimination.


State v. Battle - Ohio Court of Appeals, Tenth District (Franklin County) Dec. 22, 2011

Question: If a car is parked, locked, and otherwise secure, do you need a warrant to search the car if you have probable cause to believe it contains drugs?
Quick answer: No. You may conduct a warrantless search under the automobile exception.


United States v. Rochin - Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (New Mexico) Dec. 13, 2011

Question: Is the scope of a Terry frisk limited to removing traditional weapons that are immediately known during the frisk?
Quick answer: No. You may remove any object that you reasonably believe could be used as a weapon against you.


Williams v. Commonwealth of Kentucky - Kentucky Supreme Court Nov. 23, 2011

Question: Can you find reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk a suspect based on his association with others who are committing a crime?   
Quick answer: Yes. You may do so as long as you are not relying solely on the suspect’s association with others.