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Marked Lanes Violation As A Basis for OVI or Serious Felonies May Not Be Good Enough

Were you charged with an OVI or a felony because of a traffic stopped where the officer said you committed a Marked Lanes Violation?  If so, you may be able to get your evidence suppressed.  Read on.

Often serious criminal and traffic offenses start with a minor violation.  One of those minor violations can be a “marked lanes violation.”  Such a violation occurs when a police officer claims to observe your vehicle weaving within the lanes and they may use terms like “touching” or “driving over the right edge line.”  Based on this allegation, the officer stops your vehicle and uses their interaction with you to perhaps ask you to perform field sobriety tests or it may even lead to a warrantless search of your vehicle.  However, a recent Ohio Supreme Court decision may call into question the evidence obtained as a result of such stops.

In State v. Turner, the Ohio Supreme Court asked “does an officer have reasonable and articulable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop of a motor vehicle for a marked lanes violation under R.C. 4511.33(A)(1) when the officer observes the tires of a vehicle driving on, but not across a marked lane line?”  The answer, they held, is an emphatic “NO.”

Specifically, the Ohio Supreme Court held: “based on the plain language or R.C. 4511.33(A)(1)…the fog line – merely discourages or prohibits a driver from crossing it; it does not prohibit driving on or touching it.”

Everything from a misdemeanor OVI to a first degree felony Drug Possession (and many charges in between) have been predicated on a “Marked Lane Violation.”  However, if it can be shown that the Marked Lane Violation is the sole basis for the arresting officer’s reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop your vehicle, then any evidence found as a result thereof may be suppressed as the fruit of the poisonous tree.

But beware!  The Rules of Criminal Procedure set forth the time requirements in which a Motion to Suppress must be filed and your failure to file such a motion within that time frame waives any possible defects with respect to your case.  Contact Blosser Law for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.