The trial court did not err by concluding that the officers could detain Mr. Brady for the duration of the driver’s detention.


State v. Brady

2023 – Ohio – 1783

Ninth District Appellate Court

Wayne County, Ohio

May 30, 2023

On Tuesday November 10, 2020, a Wooster police officer stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Spink Street and High Street after the driver initiated a righthand turn without first activating the turn signal.

The unidentified Wooster Police female officer stopped Mr. Brady for failing to use his turn signal at the intersection of Spink Street and High Street.  The events that followed would land Mr. Brady in prison for six years.

As the officer approached, Mr. Jason Brady, who was seated in the rear passenger-side seat, tried to exit the vehicle. The officer recognized the driver and both passengers, although the driver provided a false name. Knowing that the driver was under a license suspension, the officer decided to return to her cruiser to check for warrants on the two passengers. While she was doing so, Mr. Brady asked another officer if he could leave to return to his nearby home. The officer told him that he needed to remain at the location of the stop. During a subsequent search, officers found drugs and a gun on his person.

Mr. Brady was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, having a weapon while under disability, and carrying a concealed weapon, in addition to several forfeiture specifications. He moved to suppress the evidence gained as a result of the search. The trial court denied the motion.

Mr. Brady pleaded no contest, and the trial court found him guilty of each charge. The trial court sentenced Mr. Brady to three years in prison and ordered the forfeiture of his property. From that order, Mr. Brady filed this appeal.


Can Law Enforcement Mandate All Passengers Remain in the Vehicle for the Duration of the Traffic Stop?

Mr. Brady appeals based on the fact that he was a passenger and not the subject of the citation that was being processed—and because his home was nearby—officers were not justified in detaining him during the stop for any period of time.


When a vehicle subject to a lawful traffic stop contains passengers, however, the Fourth Amendment permits the detention of those passengers for the duration of the driver’s lawful detention. State v. King, 2020 – Ohio – 1312, quoting State v. Fry, 2007 – Ohio – 3240.


The trial court did not err by concluding that the officers could detain Mr. Brady for the duration of the driver’s detention. Mr. Brady’s second assignment of error is overruled.

Information for this case was obtained from State v. Brady, 2023 – Ohio – 1783.

State v. Brady, 2023 – Ohio – 1783 was issued by the Ninth District Appellate Court and is binding in the following Ohio Counties: Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Detention of Vehicle Passengers – The U.S. Supreme Court did not explicitly state that passengers are detained during a traffic stop but clearly indicated that passengers are detained in 1997, “On the personal liberty side of the balance, the case for the passengers is in one sense stronger than that for the driver. There is probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a minor vehicular offense, but there is no such reason to stop or detain the passengers. But as a practical matter, the passengers are already stopped by virtue of the stop of the vehicle.” Maryland v. Wilson, 519 U.S. 408 (1997). Seven years after the Wilson decision the Second District Appellate Court explicitly stated, “When a lawfully stopped vehicle contains passengers, the Fourth Amendment permits law enforcement officers to detain those passengers for the duration of the lawful detention of the driver.”  State v. Brown, 2004 – Ohio – 4058.  Consequently, law enforcement may lawfully detain passengers in a lawfully stopped vehicle.
  2. Pre-Sent Arms! The unidentified Wooster Police female officer should be highly commended for her knowledge and application of established case law.  Brady was given a sentence of six years, for this arrest and other crimes, he is eligible for parole in 2027.

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Robert H. Meader Esq.