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Search and Seizure (Reasonable Suspicion): State of Ohio v. Robinson

Question: When you stop someone based on an unreliable tip, can you use evidence from the stop to get a search warrant for the driver’s house?
Quick Answer: No. You can only stop a car if you have reasonable suspicion, and reasonable suspicion can’t be based on an unreliable tip. If the stop is no good, you can’t use evidence found during the stop to get a warrant. Anything the warrant turns up is “fruit of the poisonous tree.” 
State v. Robinson, Ninth Appellate District, Summit County, Feb. 19, 2014


Proper Protocol (Scope of Warrants): State of Ohio v. Zwick

Question: If you get a warrant to search computers for child pornography but only find instant message chat logs detailing sexual activity with a minor, do those logs fall under the scope of your warrant?

Quick Answer: Maybe. Because the instant message chat logs detailing sexual activity with a minor were found on the computer, and a computer is normally where electronic pornography would be stored, seizing the chat records could have been within the scope of the warrant.


Search and Seizure (Warrantless Searches): State of Ohio v. Harper

Question: If you don’t follow proper protocol when conducting an impound inventory, have you performed a warrantless search?
Quick Answer: Yes. If you don’t follow standard operating procedure for an inventory, a court may throw out any evidence you found.


Three Quick Tips to Improve Your Court Testimony

Testifying in court is one of your duties as a law enforcement officer. Some officers love it; some hate it. But either way, you should know how to do it right. Here are three quick tips you can use to improve your testimony.