OH6: Police coming uninvited in hotel room 18 minutes after checkout time was unreasonable

Officers arrived at defendant’s motel room 18 minutes after checkout time and searched. The state claimed defendant lost his reasonable expectation of privacy in the room. Hotel management, however, had done nothing about that and apparently didn’t even know. The entry was unreasonable because neither defendant nor hotel management was asked for consent. The state claimed that the officers first looked for identification, but the bodycam instead shows them going for drugs and talking about that. State v. Marshall, 2022-Ohio-1533, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 1424 (6th Dist. May 6, 2022) [Note: Almost all hotels allow a grace period after checkout time, too.]

“Alone, any one of these events may not give rise to reasonable suspicion. But the events did not occur in isolation; they occurred in a continuous stream of activity in a relatively short amount of time, all observed by the same police officer. See Hayes, 2016 VT 105, ¶ 12 (‘In a relatively short period of time, the officer observed multiple indications of [the] defendant’s lack of attention while operating [the] vehicle.’). When considered in light of our case law, this is not a close case. The trial court erred when it concluded that the totality of the circumstances did not provide LeClair with reasonable suspicion that defendants were driving while impaired.” State v. Sinquell-Gainey, 2022 VT 19, 2022 Vt. LEXIS 23 (May 6, 2022).*

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