Community Caretaking Function

The performance of a legitimate "community caretaking function" can substitute for identifying a reasonable articulable suspicion under limited circumstances. In many of these cases, a person is parked in their vehicle and appears to be alseep or unconscious. Without any probable cause that a crime has been committed or reasonable suspension of a traffic violation, the officer starts banging on the window in an attempt to wake the occupant of the vehicle.

The courts will look closely at the number of offices involved, whether their vehicles used emergency equipment to effect a stop, whether the officer's vehicle blocked the suspect's vehicle, whether the officer opened the vehicle's door, and the assertion of authority exercised to gain compliance with the officer's demands.

In many of these cases, your OVI defense attorney in Ohio will file a motion to suppress evidence that alleges the contact between the officer and the person in the vehicle is unreasonable under the fourth amendment.

“Police officers without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity are allowed to intrude on a person’s privacy to carry out ‘community caretaking functions’ to enhance public safety.” State v. Norman, 136 Ohio App. 3d 46, 54 (1999) and Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398 (2006).

The community caretaking function exception is very limited in both application and scope. The officer must have a reasonable belief and must be “totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute.” Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U.S. 433, 441 (1973).


Finding an OVI Attorney in Cincinnati, OH

If you were arrested for OVI in Cincinnati, OH, and have concerns about whether your stop and detention was legal, then contact an experienced OVI defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. We represent clients throughout Hamilton County and the surrounding areas.

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