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Medina County Court of Common Pleas Judgment Reversed

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In State v. Harper, a woman successfully appealed a judgment entry of the Medina County Court of Common Pleas. The woman was initially stopped by police while driving on the interstate for following too closely behind a tractor-trailer, which is a violation of R.C. 4511.34. The trooper who pulled her over found that she had two outstanding warrants, but the woman claimed that she was only driving to take care of those warrants. The trooper arrested the woman for her warrants and arranged to have her car towed. The car she was driving was not actually hers, but belonged to her cousin.

In the process of the car being inventoried, officers discovered cocaine so they also indicted her on one count of drug possession and specified her as a Major Drug Offender. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence that law enforcement obtained from the car on the grounds of illegal traffic stop and illegal search. The motions were denied and the defendant was found guilty. The defendant appealed and the Medina County Court of Common Pleas' judgment was reversed.