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Canine Drug Searches

Have your rights and privacy been violated purely because of uncalled-for canine drug searches? Are you unclear of your rights when it comes to a canine search of your home or motor vehicle? Even for people who know their rights, the laws on drug dog searches can get a little difficult. For example, did you know that a canine sniffing the outside of your automobile 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 required an “articulable suspicion” in order to get their canine up to your motor vehicle. However, in 2005, in Illinois v. Caballes, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the police required no such articulable suspicion to call a police dog to your car during a traffic stop. So if the police officer is writing you a ticket for a busted tail light, he or she can have the drug dog right up beside the car (but not inside). If the dog implies that it sniffs drugs, the police may then take a look at your automobile.

Fighting Illegal Canine Drug Searches

Common 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 require a canine to come with a police officer on a routine traffic stop, but it is illegal for that police officer to delay the traffic stop unnecessarily while the dog searches. Moreover, if your traffic violation ticket has already been written, a police officer can not direct you to keep your motor vehicle on the side of the road while you wait for the drug dog to arrive.

These are just some of the laws in play when combating an uncalled-for canine search. Even the drug dog in itself is typically not met with dependability by a judge. Because 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 strange for a drug dog to “alert” on an automotive only to find money.

Canine Drug Searches Lawyer in New Mexico

The sad thing is, police officers do not consistently observe these rules as they should, and suspects end up having their rights breached. In cases where police officers perform illegal searches, it is commonly possible for defendants to have proof excluded from the trial. In these kinds of cases, defendants in drug cases partner with a knowledgeable legal practitioner to examine the police services that led to the charges against them.

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