Let’s say that you’ve been pulled over at a standard police stop for any wide array of reasons. You have Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizures, but does this include drug sniffing dogs? You have an expectation of privacy in many situations, but what if that situation involves illegal drugs? Today we will discuss this issue and if drug sniffing dogs are permitted at your police stop.

General Rules

Drug sniffing dogs are used to help locate illegal drugs when they would otherwise be prevented from seizing this evidence due to privacy concerns. For instance, if police have no reason to believe that there are drugs in the back of the vehicle, they can’t just come in and pop your trunk without your consent. Drug sniffs might be permitted to help locate evidence, but police might have to obtain a warrant before they move forward with this decision.

Law enforcement officials can actually have a drug dog sniff at a vehicle traffic stop at any time, but this does not automatically give them free reign. They must still abide by rules that have been put in place to protect your rights. The reason for the initial traffic stop must be one of criminal nature, which means that the officials must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime.  One of the biggest factors that comes into play is that there is a certain length of time that officers must abide by. They cannot delay the length of time at a traffic stop by having a dog sniff around while the police are conducting other business matters. You can also only be detained for a reasonable amount of time before police have to allow you to leave the scene.

If you believe that your rights have been breached at a traffic stop, we want to speak with you about your case as soon as possible. You have many rights and we want to help you gain the best results in your case so that you can move forward in this difficult time. Call us for more information at the Law Office of Peter Blair.