Search and Seizure - Suppression Motions and Hearings


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

Also see Motions.
State v. Mendell, 191 Ohio App. 3d 325, 2010-Ohio-6107 – Court did not fully resolve issues surrounding a motion to suppress before proceeding to take a no contest plea. Motion to suppress raised four issues. Trial court addressed claim the warrant was executed before it was filed and claim consent to search was not voluntary. But it failed to address whether there was probable cause or whether good faith saved the search.
State v. Demus, 192 Ohio App. 3d 181, 2011-Ohio-124, ¶9-22 – Burned out license plate light was pretence for traffic stop. Officer mistakenly stated this was in violation of R.C. 4503.02, which merely requires plates be attached to the vehicle in plain view. This was not the basis for argument in the trial court and is thus waived. Actual violation was of R.C. 4513.05(A). Search valid despite mistaken reference as testimony related to the license plate light violation.
State v. Vanni, 182 Ohio App. 3d 505, 2009-Ohio-2295 – Original judge recused himself and transferred the case to a second judge, who had signed the anticipatory search warrant at issue in a motion to suppress the evidence in a controlled delivery drug case. At some point the Chief Justice assigned a different judge to preside. Before a hearing on the MTS was conduced before that judge, the judge who signed the warrant put on an entry overruling the suppression motion. Reversed because the second judge was without authority to act further. Opinion does not further address the impropriety of the issuing judge ruling on suppression.
State v. Peterson, 173 Ohio App. 3d 575, 2007-Ohio-5667, ¶11 – Searches conducted outside the judicial process, without a warrant, are per se unreasonable, subject to a few specifically established and well-defined exceptions. At a suppression hearing the burden of proof is on the party seeking an exemption from the judicial process, not the defendant.
State v. Pilgrim, 184 Ohio App. 3d 675, 2009-Ohio-5357, ¶19-21 – A party may not argue on appeal a basis for suppression not advanced in the trial court. Nor need the appellant court consider grounds advanced in the trial court not briefed in the appeal.
State v. Myers (2001), 143 Ohio App. 3d 342 -- Suppression hearing focused on whether the affidavit provided a substantial basis for issuance of a search warrant. Under these circumstances court could limit inquiry as to the position from which officers kept the defendant's house under observation in a manner analogous to the protection afforded confidential informants. There was not a sufficiently strong preliminary showing as to false statements to override this protection. See concurring opinion.
State v. Young (2001), 146 Ohio App. 3d 245, 253 -- In reviewing the sufficiency of an affidavit seeking a search warrant the trial court must determine whether the issuing judge had a substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed. It may not make an independent assessment whether probable cause existed. Trial judge here properly eliminated from consideration a boilerplate list of drugs, culled from Chapter 2925 and used every time a search warrant was applied for, since it was not based on the officer's actual observations.
State v. Yates, 166 Ohio App. 3d 19, 2006-Ohio-1424 -- Counsel failed to file a written motion to suppress and was rebuffed in effort to do so orally on the trial date. Since the motion would have been successful based on the arresting officers testimony at trial, defendant was rendered ineffective assistance of counsel.
Simmons v. United States (1968), 390 U.S. 377, 389-394 -- When a defendant testifies at a pretrial hearing on a motion to suppress evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds, his testimony may not be admitted against him at the subsequent trial.
Franks v. Delaware (1978), 438 U.S. 154 -- If a defendant claims the affidavit in support of a search warrant contains deliberate or reckless falsehood, he is entitled to a hearing if the unchallenged portion of the affidavit by itself is not sufficient to establish probable cause. If after a hearing the defendant shows by a preponderance that such false statements were included, suppression is required, as if probable cause was lacking on the face of the affidavit.
Ornelas v. United States (1996), 517 U.S. 690 -- The determination of reasonable suspicion or probable cause for purposes of passing on the validity of a warrantless search is a mixed question of fact and law, to be reviewed de novo by an appellate court, without the deference to the findings of the trial court called for when pure questions of fact are involved.
Xenia v. Wallace (1988), 37 Ohio St. 3d 216 -- Syllabus: "(1) To suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a warrantless search or seizure, the defendant must (1) demonstrate the lack of a warrant, and (2) raise the grounds upon which the validity of the search or seizure is challenged in such a manner as to give the prosecutor notice of the basis for the challenge. (2) Once a defendant has demonstrated a warrantless search or seizure and adequately clarified that the ground upon which he challenges its legality is lack of probable cause, the prosecutor bears the burden of proof, including the burden of going forward with evidence, on the issue of whether probable cause existed for the search or seizure."
State v. F.O.E. Aerie 2295 (1988), 38 Ohio St. 3d 53 -- Failure to file a motion to suppress physical evidence before trial, as required by Criminal Rule 12(B)(3) precludes a challenge to its admission at trial. Submission of a stipulation of facts is the equivalent of the commencement of trial. Also see State v. Carter (1970), 21 Ohio St. 2d 212; State v. Davis (1964), 1 Ohio St. 2d 28.
State v. Gavin (1977), 51 Ohio App. 2d 49, 52-53 -- Failure to move to suppress evidence by pretrial motion may, in the court's discretion, be a waiver of that issue. Also see State v. Savage (1980), 1 Ohio App. 3d 13.
Kimmelman v. Morrison (1986), 477 U.S. 365, 383-387 -- Failure to file a suppression motion may constitute ineffective assistance of counsel.
State v. Roberts (1980), 62 Ohio St. 2d 170, 177-178 -- To be entitled to a hearing, a defendant claiming the affidavit upon which a search warrant was issued contains knowing, intentional or reckless falsehoods must make an offer of proof outlining the portions of the affidavit claimed to be false and the reasons supporting the defendant's claim. Also see Franks v. Delaware (1978), 438 U.S. 154.
State v. Scott (1980), 61 Ohio St. 2d 155, 161 -- At a suppression hearing, court sits as trier of fact and resolves conflicts in testimony.
State v. Danby (1983), 11 Ohio App. 3d 38, 41 -- The state bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that consent to search was freely and voluntarily given. Also see United States v. Scott (6th Cir. 1981), 578 F. 2d 1186, 1188-1189.
State v. Brown (1995), 101 Ohio App. 3d 227 -- Common pleas court judge hearing a suppression motion, like appellate judges, must show a degree of deference towards the municipal court judge's determination that probable cause existed for issuance of warrant. Issue is whether there was a substantial basis for issuance, rather than whether common pleas judge would have issued warrant based upon the information submitted.
State v. Parsons (1990), 68 Ohio App. 3d 323 -- Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to reopen suppression hearing after it was learned that the judge who signed warrant had misunderstood some of the information provided in the affidavit, though the affidavit was not deliberately false or misleading. Focus is on the affidavit and not the affiant or the judge, who from the face of the affidavit was provided with a reasonable basis for issuance of the warrant.
State v. Alexander (1997), 120 Ohio App. 3d 164, 168-169 -- While Crim. R. 12(E) requires the court hearing a motion to state its essential factual findings on the record, the defendant must request it do so, and any omission may be harmless if the record permits full review of the issues presented. Compare State v. Edwards (1993), 86 Ohio App. 3d 554.
State v. Cook (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 154 -- Prosecutor assigned as error that the trial court's reliance on a memorandum submitted by defense counsel meant the court failed to bring its independent judgment to bear on the issues of law and fact before it. Court of appeals summarily rejects this claim, then adopts decision of the trial judge, which is quoted in its entirety.
State v. Newell (1990), 68 Ohio App. 3d 623 -- After sustaining a motion to suppress based on an illegal warrantless search the court was required to allow the state seven days to perfect an appeal before discharging the defendant.
State v. Hamilton (1994), 97 Ohio App. 3d 648 -- At arraignment the defendant entered a no contest plea. The judge found him not guilty, stating that the arresting officer was without authority to search the defendant's vehicle. It was error to in effect suppress evidence and proceed to judgment without allowing the prosecutor an opportunity to appeal on the suppression issue. Nonetheless, double jeopardy bars further proceedings against the defendant.
In re Mojica (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 461 -- Juvenile court judge conducted a single hearing addressed to motion to suppress and guilt or innocence, granting the motion to dismiss, then immediately dismissing the case. Held: (1) Since the judge did not have authority to dismiss the case, the prosecutor retains the right to appeal. (2) Ordering suppression was erroneous. (3) Because of the dismissal, double jeopardy bars further proceedings.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
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