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Search & Seizure (Warrantless Search, Locked Basement, Owner Without Key): State of Ohio v. Norman

Question: Can a property owner give consent to law enforcement to search a room or area of his home that he rents to another?  What if the property owner is on probation and is subject to home searches? 


Proper Protocol (Knock and Talk): Carroll v. Carman

Question: Does a knock and talk have to begin at the front door of a residence?


Find Advanced Training Courses Through OPOTA

The Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) provides specialized training for peace officers in areas such as Firearms and Specialty Munitions, Human Relations, Investigations, Management and Advanced Driving. In addition to these topics, OPOTA’s Advanced Training staff also conducts Instructor Level courses for numerous topics. You can find OPOTA’s complete course catalog here.


Ohio Attorney General’s Newsletters Offer Helpful Tools

In addition to the Law Enforcement Bulletin, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office offers two other law enforcement newsletters: the monthly OPOTA Mobile Academy and the quarterly Criminal Justice Update. The Ohio Attorney General’s email subscriptions also offer other newsletters and alerts on a variety of topics. You can sign up online at for any or all of these newsletters.


Proper Protocol (Warrant Affidavit: Trash Pulls and Stale Information): State of Ohio v. Goble

Question:  Have you established probable cause for a search warrant by only the mention of one trash pull and information from several years ago?


Search & Seizure (Mistaken Identify, Common Authority, and Consent to Search): State of Ohio v. Portman

Question:  Is consent from a third-party valid if they lie about their identity resulting in your mistaken belief that they have authority to give the consent?


OVI (Coerced Blood Draw): State v. Brunty

Question: When attempting to obtain a blood sample, is consent from the suspect valid if you say “you can consent or I will get a sample by force”.


Don’t Give Up: Assisting the Reluctant Domestic Violence Victim

He remembers the day the police came to his house after his dad beat his mom. The officers told his dad to leave and cool down. At only eight-years-old, he remembers wondering how he was going to protect his family when the police left. That day he decided to become a cop. 


OPOTA Courses Available This November

The Attorney General’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) offers state-of-the-art courses led by expert instructors. Consider taking one of the following courses in November. To register for a course, click here.


Search and Seizure (Community Caretaking Exception): State v. Barzacchini; State v. Hendrix, and State v. Leveck

Question: When is the community caretaking exception to a warrant applicable?


Miranda (Public Safety Exception): State v. Brown

Question: If there is a public safety concern that a loaded weapon used to commit a crime is publicly accessible, can you ask a suspect about it without first giving Miranda warnings?


Proper Protocol (Sting Operation, Receiving Stolen Property): Young v. Owens

Question: Do you have probable cause for a Receiving Stolen Property arrest warrant if it is based on a sting operation in which you didn’t tell the buyer the goods were stolen?


Register now for the AG’s Law Enforcement Conference

Law enforcement agencies across Ohio and the nation have to work harder, smarter, and more collaboratively than ever before in the face of dwindling resources and increasingly cunning criminals. The Ohio Attorney General’s 2014 Law Enforcement Conference — scheduled Oct. 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus — will update attendees on recent trends and provide great networking opportunities across several criminal justice disciplines.


Traffic (OVI, Voluntary Collection and Storage of Bodily Fluids): Ohio v. Ossege

Questions: 1) Do you have to first inform a suspect that he can refuse to give a urine sample before his consent can be voluntarily given? 2) Is a sample considered compromised if you do not fill out the required information on the label?
Quick Answers: 1) No, informing the suspect he can refuse to give a sample is not a prerequisite to voluntary consent. It is, however, one of the factors a court will consider to determine the voluntariness of the consent. 2) No, the sample wouldn’t be compromised as long as other unique identifiers can link it to the suspect.


Search and Seizure (Forced Entry, Warrantless Search): Ohio v. Fisher

Question: Can you force entry into a residence, without a warrant, when you have identified suspects from past criminal incidents inside?
Quick Answer: No, unless there is an exception to the warrant requirement.


You play a huge role in school safety

Law enforcement officers play a vital role in the safety and security of Ohio students. Whether you are a full-time school resource officer, patrol near a school, or could be a first responder to a school emergency, it is important to be aware of criminal trends involving teens and best ways to work with school officials in investigations.


Proper Protocol (Excessive Force): Shreve v. Franklin County

Question: Is using a Taser on an inmate who suffered a seizure and refused to comply with orders to be cuffed excessive force?                      
Quick Answer: Not if the facts surrounding the Taser use show that the inmate resisted assistance and created a legitimate safety concern for the officers.


Search Warrants (Cell Phone Pings): State of Ohio v. Taylor

Question: Do you need a search warrant to request a suspect’s cell phone pings from the service provider?
Quick Answer: No. When a person voluntarily uses a cell phone, he has no expectation of privacy to the data voluntarily transferred to the service provider, such as a ping. As a result, you do not need a warrant to request this kind of information.


Search and Seizure (Warrantless Search of Cell Phones): Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie

Question: Can you search the data on an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant?
Quick Answer: No, a warrant is generally required to search the data of a phone after arrest because of the amount and type of private, personal information stored on a modern phone.


A Quick Look: Criminal Gang Trends in Ohio

Criminal gangs pose a growing threat to our communities. They can endanger law enforcement and threaten the health and safety of neighborhoods through violence, drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, and other organized crime.


Miranda (Custodial Interrogation): Ohio v. Jones

Question: Do you need to give Miranda if a person voluntarily speaks to you and you inform him he is free to leave and not under arrest?
Quick Answer: No, unless the circumstances change and the conversation becomes a custodial interrogation.


Searches and Seizures of Vehicles (Abandoned Property): State of Ohio v. Warner

Question: Can you search a trunk of an “abandoned” vehicle without a warrant?
Quick Answer: Yes, if an individual intended to abandon the vehicle, through words or actions, he loses his right to privacy, and search without a warrant is proper.


Warrantless Search (Consent from Co-Occupants): Fernandez v. California

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an important ruling in favor of law enforcement that expands the authority of officers to get consent to search premises after a lawful arrest. Fernandez changes the landscape of consensual searches in situations in which one co-tenant, who is present on the property, agrees and the other, who is not present, objects to the search.


Legal Review: Consensual Encounters to Terry Stops

Stops are one of the most dangerous parts of your job as a law enforcement officer. Whether you’re on foot or in your cruiser, stopping a stranger is an encounter with the unknown. It is the conflict point between law enforcement and the individual, and it’s also where everything can go right or everything can go wrong.


Traffic Stops (Reasonable Duration): State of Ohio v. McCullough

Question: Is it OK for you to hold a driver to wait for a canine search?
Quick Answer: Yes, you can conduct a canine search as long as the entire stop only lasts a “reasonable period of time” (about as long as it takes to write a ticket or run a computer search).

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