(WKBN) – The search of a driver’s truck and the illegal gun that was found inside has been the subject of a court case in Ohio about search and seizure.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the 2019 search of Jamie Toran’s truck following a traffic stop in Hamilton County was a legal search.
Up for debate was the fact that Toran said that the officer who pulled him over for an improper license plate display violated his constitutional rights when he searched his truck and ultimately found the illegal gun.
The officer discovered that Toran had a suspended license and the truck was towed, even though it was legally parked on the street, because Toran had a suspended license and could not legally drive it away from the traffic stop, according to the court filing.
An inventory of the truck was conducted and that is when the illegal gun was found.
Toran was ultimately indicted on felony counts of carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle.
Toran had fought to exclude the gun evidence claiming that it was seized illegally because the search itself was not legal. He said that there was no reason to search the truck without a warrant and that there was insufficient evidence that the search itself was conducted in accordance with the sheriff’s department’s standard procedures.
An appeals court agreed that the search was not legal and that it violated Toran’s constitutional rights against unreasonable searches. However, the case was challenged and made its way to the Ohio Supreme Court where the panel ruled in a 5-2 decision that the search was legal.
The opinion stated that the deputy was following the Hamilton Sheriff’s Office policy when he searched the truck prior to the tow and that he was following that policy in good faith.
Toran’s conviction for the gun-related crime and his sentence of five years of community control were reinstated.