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Any drug lawyer worth his or her salt knows that the 4th Amendment is the central issue in any interstate drug stop case. That means the government needs to reveal that the evidence obtained from every part of the traffic stop –the questioning, search, apprehension, and even the stop itself– must be appropriate when used to verify the accused’s guilt. Probable cause need to be identified to believe that a traffic offense took place or that there was a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

In many cases, a drug lawyer could effectively argue that the cop misjudged and did not have probable cause to stop the automobile, due to the fact that the motorist’s conduct did not constitute a traffic infraction– though most of the time, the occasion is videotaped on the police officer auto’s front dashboard video. What happens after the stop may permeate into more of a grey area, however. The individual that was stopped might have suffered through unnecessary questioning and illegal detention all throughout a minor traffic infraction. Below are some fine examples of how police officers take advantage of drivers and utilize dirty techniques to acquire information and evidence.

Invalid Consent

Many times, Minnesota police officers will ask the vehicle driver for permission to search the automobile. If the cops do not obtain the consent they are seeking, a drug canine will usually be summoned to smell the air around the motor vehicle to be able to give them reason or probable cause to execute a search. Illegal detention happens if the law enforcement officer does not have reasonable suspicion to detain the motorist until the drug canine shows up.

The Unlawful Search

Even though police has enough reasonable suspicion to detain the motorist, this does not automatically mean that they have probable cause to conduct a search. The cop may ask the motorist’s companion for permission to go through their bags, when the companion alone permits, but the law enforcement agent proceeds to search the driver’s bags without his consent.

Illegal Detention

Authorities can not just detain an individual during a routine traffic stop, and when it is done, the motorist is free to go. The only time authorities can arrest an individual is if they have sensible uncertainty to believe that criminal activity is afoot or have probable reason to arrest. Sometimes a policeman will ask too many inquiries during the traffic stop to build suspicion, like asking everyone in the automobile what their itinerary are.

If police have reasonable suspicion that the vehicle driver or other travelers are associated with criminal activity, they might detain all the occupants in the automobile and call for a drug dog to create probable cause to search– however the period of the detention need to be reasonable. The real question becomes whether the policeman had reasonable suspicion to detain to begin with. Often times, the policeman’s suspicion can be challenged in court.

If valid consent is not given or probable cause is not determined, police will certainly more than likely call the drug dog to the scene to smell the car. Though trained extensively, drug dogs are not always accurate. In many cases, the evidence collected by means of a drug dog could be suppressed if the dog is discovered to be unreliable or found to have not indicated drugs.

Drug dogs trained in Minnesota are used as passive indicators, implying that when the animal walks around the vehicle it will certainly look for the source of contraband. It then will reveal an interest in what trainers relate to as an “alert.” The dog sits at the place where the smell is the strongest, as a type of indication. It can be confirmed occasionally that the drug dog did not take a seat or was either intentionally or accidentally cued by the dog handler or trainer.

Dog Training

It must be established that the dog’s sniff is trustworthy and that it offered probable cause to search. Often times, it is quite helpful for the defense to employ expert witnesses to assist in assessing information to give an outside perspective. Via this method, it might be established as to whether the canine was properly trained.

The Inherent Unreliability of a Medicine Pet

Drug dogs are trained to alert on the smell of narcotics, but sometimes they can falsely show a smell where no drugs are present considering that they are just indicating the existence of a smell. If a drug canine signals to the smell of cannabis, it can be that an individual riding in the car smoked cannabis and had the scent on their clothes. On the other hand, if it has been shown through other instances that the dog was correct in the past, the dog will likely be found reliable by the court.

Various Other Probable Cause

One more reason for a probable cause to search is if the driver states that he only has an personal amount of marijuana on him. The cop then may go through the whole vehicle for admitting to that personal usage. In the past, Oklahoma law enforcement has actually been revealed to badger vehicle drivers concerning their personal marijuana use so relentlessly that their Fifth Amendment civil liberties of protection against self-incrimination were in risk. In this situation, their drug lawyer can have the statement properly thrown out as evidence.

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