If police use an “alert signal” from their drug dogs to search
your property without your consent, here’s what you can do.
Let’s say you ignored our advice on
how to behave after getting pulled over for a traffic violation, and an annoyed cop decides to set drug dogs on your car. As our last
the Supreme Court has decided that it is completely legal for the police
to search your car without a warrant and without your consent if a drug
dog sends them an “alert signal”.
If police find illegal substances in a car after such a search, prosecutors
can usually use that evidence against the driver in courts. Nevertheless,
it turns out that there are a two main ways for such searches to be challenged
in courts by a competent
The use of police dogs was illegitimate.
The Supreme Court did not rule that police can have your drug dogs sniff
your parked car or at random drug checkpoints. The only time the use of
police dogs on your car is legitimate is during a legitimate traffic violation
stop. A positive dog sniff authorizes the police to search your car without
a warrant or your consent (the dog sniff gives the police “probable cause” to search your car).
This means that the use of police dogs at a stop is illegitimate if, for
example, the officer really did not have a reason to think you were violating
a traffic law, or if the stop was unnecessarily extended for longer than
it takes to ticket you (because the officer wanted to wait for the K9
unit to arrive).
The police dog is unreliable.
An emerging defense has been that dogs are not actually that great at sniffing
out illegal drugs. A number of studies continue to find that drug dogs
often return a false positive which means that any search that results
from those sniff alerts actually violates the drivers’ right to
be protected from searches without probable cause. What’s worse
is that police can train their dogs to falsely “alert” on
command – watch this video to
see an example of the police doing this to essentially give themselves
the right to search a car.
If you or somebody you care about is facing
drug charges or any other criminal charges, feel free to contact the highly experienced
defense attorneys at The Kyle Law Firm. Our attorneys offer a free case
schedule yours today so we can fight to protect your rights against unfair
searches and arrests.