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A Criminal Defense Law Firm

Police May Not Prolong Traffic Stops to Wait for a Drug-Sniffing Dog to Arrive

K-9 UnitOn April 21st, The Supreme Court ruled that police are no longer allowed to stall a traffic stop in order to wait for a K-9 unit to arrive. The Supreme Court stated that when police use more time than needed for a routine traffic stop in order wait for a Drug-Dog, this constitutes an unreasonable seizure.

This ruling stemmed from the case: Rodriguez vs. United States. This particular case began when a Nebraska police officer pulled over Mr. Rodriguez for a routine traffic stop. He issued Rodriguez a written warning.

After the stop was complete, the officer had a Drug-Sniffing Dog circle the vehicle. After the written traffic warning was issued, about eight minutes elapsed from then until the dog arrived. During the search, the dog detected a large bag of methamphetamine.

Mr. Rodriguez later filed to have the evidence suppressed. The lower courts referred to a 2005 ruling, which stated that Dogs are allowed at traffic stops, as long as the stops are brief. There also must be “reasonable suspicion” in order to detain an individual. To get the full story, click the link below.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/us/supreme-court-limits-drug-sniffing-dog-use-in-traffic-stops.html?_r=2

In a previous post, we discussed this same issue. Our client was pulled over in South Georgia with 2.6 pounds of marijuana in the car. The main topic here is that once the purpose of a traffic stop has been completed, any continued detention amounts to a second detention. In order for a second detention to be legal, there must be “reasonable suspicion” for that detention.

Have you ever had your car searched during a traffic stop by a Canine Unit? This new ruling may help. Do you feel as though the “reasonableness” of the search wasn’t warranted? You need an experienced attorney to argue that in court. If you have ever been arrested from a search that stemmed from a traffic stop, we can help!

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