Recently, state officials convened in Columbus to discuss how no-knock warrants will be dealt with in the future. State Attorney General Dave Yost hosted a bipartisan group of prosecutors from Ohio’s three largest cities — Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Their focus was the future of no-knock warrants here in the state.
Authorities claim the Ohio average for no-knock warrants is fewer than one per year. They also allege that at times, no-knock warrants may need to be used when police officers are trying to apprehend suspects who are armed and dangerous. This frequently happens during arrests for human trafficking or drug busts.
The problem that arises is that Ohio is a castle doctrine state. That means that Ohio residents can legally defend themselves in their own home through the use of deadly force. In almost all cases, law enforcement officers (LEOs) have to knock on your door, identify themselves as LEOs and give you the chance to come to the door before they break into the home.
No-knock warrants are quite controversial right now due to several high-profile cases where innocent people were killed after police burst unannounced into their homes. Many jurisdictions in the United States are considering full bans on no-knock warrants.
In Ohio, the authorities are asking that the issue be dealt with legislatively. They want to have the right to use them in special cases where there remains a threat of serious harm coming to the LEO serving the warrant. Yet, state officials acknowledge that tighter controls and stringent requirements should be in place in order to carry out these no-knock warrants.
Those controls and requirements include LEO wearing identifiable clothing and activating their body cams for the entirety of the raid. These no-knock warrants would not be used on any arrests for drug paraphernalia or misdemeanor drug possession.
Were you arrested for drugs here in Cincinnati? Mounting a staunch defense to your charges is imperative from the beginning of your case.