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Canine Drug Searches

Have your rights and privacy been violated solely because of uncalled-for canine drug searches? Are you not sure of your rights when it comes to a canine search of your home or automobile? Even for folks who know their rights, the laws on drug dog searches can get a bit tricky. For example, did you know that a canine sniffing the outside of your motor vehicle in NOT considered a search? The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the scent of drugs wafting from your motor vehicle is in the public space. It used to be that the police needed to get an “articulable suspicion” in order to bring their canine up to your motor vehicle. However, in 2005, in Illinois v. Cabelles, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded 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 faulty 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 search your car.

Fighting Illegal Canine Drug Searches

Usual misunderstandings about the laws of compliance as they pertain to canine drug searches can lead to a violation of rights. For instance, the law does warrant a canine to come with a police officer on a routine traffic stop, but it is illegal for that officer to prolong the traffic stop needlessly while the dog searches. Moreover, if your traffic violation ticket has already been created, an officer can not obligate you to keep your vehicle on the side of the road while you stand by for the drug dog to arrive.

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

Canine Drug Searches Lawyer in Iowa

What’s really sad is that law enforcement do not consistently observe these rules as they should, and suspects end up having their rights violated. In cases where police officers administer illegal searches, it is often possible for defendants to have proof excluded from the trial. It these types of cases, defendants in drug cases collaborate with a competent lawyer to evaluate the police work that led to the charges against them.

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