State v. White, 2018-Ohio-18, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 3 (4th Dist. Jan. 2, 2018)

Defendant’s stop was with reasonable suspicion based on corroborated informant hearsay. “Because the police were still in the process of writing the traffic ticket when the canine arrived and conducted the sniff, and thus the stop was not unlawfully extended.”

With regards to Case No. 16CR135, White does not allege that the initial traffic stop of his vehicle was unlawful. Rather, he contends that the canine sniff of his vehicle unlawfully extended the traffic stop. Again, we disagree. Rather, after reviewing the record, we conclude that the purpose of the initial stop had not been concluded at the time the canine indicated on the vehicle; and the stop was not unlawfully extended.

Typically, “[w]hen a law enforcement officer stops a vehicle for a traffic violation, the officer may detain the motorist for a period of time sufficient to issue the motorist a citation and to perform routine procedures such as a computer check on the motorist’s driver’s license, registration and vehicle plates.” State v. Aguirre, 4th Dist. Gallia No. 03CA5, 2003-Ohio-4909,  citing State v. Carlson, 102 Ohio App.3d 585, 598, 657 N.E.2d 591 (9th Dist.1995); see also Rodriguez v. United States, — U.S. –, 135 S.Ct. 1609, 1615, 191 L.Ed.2d 492 (2015) (ordinary inquiries incident to a traffic stop include “checking the driver’s license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of insurance”).

‘In determining if an officer completed these tasks within a reasonable length of time, the court must evaluate the duration of the stop in light of the totality of the circumstances and consider whether the officer diligently conducted the investigation.’ ” Id., citing State v. Cook, 65 Ohio St.3d 516, 521-522, 605 N.E.2d 70 (1992) (fifteen-minute detention was reasonable); United States v. Sharp, 470 U.S. 675, 105 S.Ct. 1568 (1985) (twenty-minute detention was reasonable). {¶28}A lawfully detained vehicle may be subjected to a canine check of the vehicle’s exterior even without the presence of a reasonable suspicion of drug-related activity. State v. Rusnak, 120 Ohio App.3d 24, 28, 696 N.E.2d 633 (6th Dist.1997).

Both Ohio courts and the United States Supreme Court have determined that “the exterior sniff by a trained narcotics dog to detect the odor of drugs is not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.” State v. Jones, 4th Dist. Washington No. 03CA61, 2004–Ohio–7280, ¶ 24; United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 103 S.Ct. 2637, 77 L.Ed.2d 110 (1983). “Thus, a canine check of a vehicle may be conducted during the time period necessary to effectuate the original purpose of the stop.” Jones at