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State of Ohio v. Matthew Smucker

December 3, 2012

STATE OF OHIO APPELLANT
v.
MATTHEW SMUCKER APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE WAYNE COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. TRC-11-05-03975

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Whitmore, Presiding Judge.

Cite as State v. Smucker,

ss:

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, the State of Ohio, appeals from the judgment of the Wayne County Municipal Court, granting Appellee, Matthew Smucker's, motion to suppress. This Court reverses.

I

{¶2} Just after 2:00 a.m. on May 27, 2011, Sergeant John Hromiak observed a vehicle traveling in excess of the posted speed limit. Sergeant Hromiak followed the vehicle and further observed the driver commit two marked lane violations and follow another vehicle too closely. He also noted that the vehicle's validation sticker was not current. Sergeant Hromiak stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Smucker. Because he smelled a strong odor of alcohol when he spoke with Smucker, Sergeant Hromiak performed field sobriety testing. As a result of the traffic stop, Smucker was charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a marked lane violation, and a failure to display a current validation sticker.

{¶3} Smucker filed a motion to suppress, and the trial court held a hearing. Sergeant Hromiak testified at the hearing, and the State introduced a DVD recording of the traffic stop. At the hearing, Sergeant Hromiak verified that the DVD contained recordings of more than one traffic stop and that the stop of Smucker's vehicle was the second recorded stop. On December 13, 2011, the trial court granted Smucker's motion to suppress on the basis that Sergeant Hromiak lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Smucker's vehicle.

{¶4} The State now appeals from the trial court's judgment and raises one assignment of error for our review.

II

Assignment of Error

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS ON THE BASIS THAT THE TRAFFIC STOP WAS ILLEGAL AND THERE WAS NO REASONABLE SUSPICION OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

{ΒΆ5} In its sole assignment of error, the State argues that the trial court erred by granting Smucker's motion to suppress on the basis that there was not reasonable suspicion for the stop of his vehicle. Specifically, the State argues that the court's description of the traffic stop in its judgment entry ...


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