By Chelsea Lund, Summer Associate
According to the Ohio Supreme Court, the Ohio Constitution affords a greater protection against warrantless arrests for minor misdemeanors than the Fourth Amendment. State v. Brown (1999) allows police officers to briefly detain, but not arrest or conduct a search incident to that arrest, offenders for a minor misdemeanor offense as long as none of the exceptions outlined in the Ohio Revised Code Section 2935.26 apply.
Those exceptions are as follows:
- The offender requires medical care or is unable to provide for his own safety.
- The offender cannot or will not offer satisfactory evidence of his identity.
- The offender refuses to sign the citation.
- The offender has previously been issued a citation for the commission of that misdemeanor and has failed to do one of the following.
- Appear at the time and place stated in the citation;
- Comply with division (C) of this section. [R.C. 2935.26(A)]
Therefore, if none of these exceptions apply, police officers shall issue a citation but may not conduct a custodial arrest, or a search related to that arrest, for a minor misdemeanor offense.