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Ohio Has A Unique Restriction On Traffic Stops

Ohio has a unique restriction on traffic stops.  The Ohio Supreme Court, in its Robinette decision, said that police officers may not request consent for a search of a vehicle, once the purpose of the initial traffic stop is completed and there is no evidence of any wrongdoing beyond the reason for the traffic stop.  The Supreme Court of Ohio said that the courts have an obligation to protect the ordinary law-abiding citizen from intrusive, illegal and overbearing government action.  This protection is necessary because most people are not aware of their right to refuse consent to a search of their vehicle.

The United States Supreme Court, in its review of this decision, declined to adopt this rule for the entire nation.  In doing so, the rule was left intact in Ohio.  This was an unfortunate decision, as the Ohio Supreme Court got it right in this instance.  Authorities should not be allowed to further detain people and request consent after they have already issued a citation, and checked for license, registration and insurance.  This person should be free to drive off without being subjected to a fishing expedition.

You can read the full text of the decision by looking up the following cite:

State v. Robinette, 80 Ohio St. 3d 234 (1980).


To learn more, read my other posts related to traffic stops and other criminal law issues, where I wrote about do Ohio judges impose agreed sentences, maximum prison terms for some Ohio crimes, avoid going to jail, credit for time served in Ohio jail, new Ohio DUI laws, Ohio felony theft, Ohio shoplifting, and sealing Ohio convictions. I have successfully defended individuals for both misdemeanor and felony offenses, as set forth in the case highlights section. This success is reflected in the following links to my reviews: Daniel Gigiano reviews; Daniel Gigiano ratings; and Daniel Gigiano work.


Attorney Gigiano is a Medina criminal defense attorney in Wadsworth, Ohio.  If you have questions about traffic stops or other questions you need answered by an experienced Medina County criminal defense attorney in Wadsworth, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.  Attorney Gigiano has tried over thirty-five jury trials to a verdict, many of them in Medina County, Summit County and Wayne County.