When does a routine traffic stop become an Illegal Search and Seizure according to the Constitution?


The United States Constitution protects individuals from illegal searches and seizures.  Essentially, law enforcement officials cannot stop and detain citizens without some level of justification.  If an arrest is made and the search of an individual is found to violate the Constitution then the evidence resulting from that search must be suppressed.

Ohio courts have consistently allowed for police officers to have consensual encounters with citizens.  Only when the officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen may a court conclude that a seizure has occurred.

Even when police officers have a valid basis to initially detain the driver of a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle may not be detained further once that basis has been explained away, absent some specific and articulable facts that the detention was reasonable then the driver should be free to continue on his way without having to produce his driver's license.  A law enforcement officer may not request an individual's license without triggering Constitutional protections.