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Canine Drug Searches

Have your rights and privacy been breached merely because of uncalled-for canine drug searches? Are you uncertain of your rights when it comes to a canine search of your home or car? Even for folks who know their rights, the laws on drug dog searches can get a little complex. For example, did you know that a canine sniffing the exterior of your automobile in NOT considered a search? The U.S. Supreme Court established that the scent of drugs wafting from your motor vehicle is in the public space. It used to be that the police needed to have an “articulable suspicion” in order to get their canine up to your car. However, in 2005, in Illinois v. Cabelles, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the police required no such articulable suspicion to call upon a police dog to your car during a traffic stop. So if the police official is writing you a ticket for a damaged tail light, he or she can have the drug dog right up beside the car (but not inside). If the dog suggests that it sniffs drugs, the police may then inspect and search your car.

Fighting Illegal Canine Drug Searches

General misunderstandings about the laws of compliance as they relate to canine drug searches can lead to a violation of rights. For instance, the law does permit a canine to come with an officer on a routine traffic stop, but it is illegal for that officer to extend the traffic stop needlessly while the dog searches. Moreover, if your traffic violation ticket has already been written, an officer can not require you to keep your car on the side of the road while you stand by for the drug dog to arrive.

These are just a few of the laws in play when combating an uncalled-for canine search. Even the drug dog in itself is typically not met with very much dependability by a judge. Because of the prevalence of cocaine and marijuana in our society, trace amounts of these drugs can be found all over, especially on paper currency. It is not surprising for a drug dog to “alert” on an automotive only to find money.

Canine Drug Searches Lawyer in Arizona

The sad thing is, cops do not consistently observe these rules as they should, and suspects wind up having their rights violated. In cases where police officials administer illegal searches, it is typically possible for defendants to have proof excluded from the trial. In these types of cases, defendants in drug cases deal with an experienced lawyer to investigate the police services that led to the charges against them.