Hamilton county, ohio

The Discovery of Other Narcotics Did Not Give the Officers Probable Cause to Search Without a Warrant

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The Discovery of Other Narcotics Did Not Give the Officers Probable Cause to Search Without a Warrant.

Warrantless searches conducted within a residence, as is the case here, are presumptively unreasonable. Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45, 47, 130 S. Ct. 546, 175 L. Ed. 2d 410 (2009). Even a warrantless entry to search for weapons or contraband is unconstitutional when a felony has been committed and there is probable cause to believe that incriminating evidence will be found within the residence. Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551, 559, 124 S. Ct. 1284, 157 L. Ed. 2d 1068 (2004). An entry can never be reasonable based solely upon the fact that contraband was discovered within the residence. See State v. Williams, 55 Ohio St.2d 82, 86, 55 Ohio St. 2d 82, 377 N.E.2d 1013 (1978). Because the warrant requirement functions to set limits on police discretion, warrantless searches are unconstitutional absent a recognized exception, “notwithstanding facts unquestionably showing probable cause” sufficient to obtain a warrant. State v. Sharpe, 174 Ohio App.3d 498, 507, 2008-Ohio-267, 882 N.E.2d 960 (2008), citing Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33, 46 S. Ct. 4, 70 L. Ed. 145 (1925).

The fact that narcotics were discovered in «lastname»’s hotel room did not give the police probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of his belongings. There was no showing of any exception to the warrant requirement. «lastname» was far away from his hotel room at the time of the search; there were therefore no exigent circumstances. «lastname» did not consent to a search of {______}. The {_____} were not in plain view. Whether the police believed they had probable cause to search is immaterial; the rationale of the warrant requirement is to limit police discretion. Because the police never sought a warrant, all evidence of the{______} should be excluded.

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