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Drug cases can be really troublesome, and that is why you really need an experienced Minnesota drug attorney, to actually help you win your case. Drug traffic stop and search cases could be especially difficult. If you have been arrested for drugs when driving and a drug sniffing dog was used, you may want to know what are the policies that officers need to comply.

Traffic Stops and Reasonable Suspicion

Right before searching a vehicle, the police officer should definitely have what is identified as the probable cause, suggesting that their idea that a criminal activity has happened must be supported by proof. The proof would be physical, information from witnesses, or the police officer’s own findings, but it has to surpass mere suspicion. Actually, the initial hearing is described as “probable cause hearing,” and is especially worked out to assess the proof for any probable cause circumstances.

In these proceedings, it will be verified if the policeman had probable cause, the belief that a crime took place or was taking place, or reasonable suspicion, granting the policeman the right to arrest and examine the suspect. But actually, neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion is required to call on a drug sniffing dog to the scene during a routine traffic stop. This was developed by the Supreme Court in Illinois v. Caballes, where Roy Caballes was stopped for speeding and consequently jailed for marijuana trafficking after a drug dog was brought to the scene and alerted on his vehicle.

In a 6-2 ruling, the Court agreed to the state, with Justice John Paul Stevens writing that drug sniffing dog searches did not violate Fourth Amendment rights. He really felt that the expectation of personal privacy did not reach illegal narcotics. In this situation, any positive signal could be considered probable cause to carry out a search. If the drug sniffing dog signals that it smells drugs, the arresting officer then has probable cause to perform a search.

You do, nonetheless, have some proper protection in this circumstance; for instance, a policeman could not detain you consistently, and even for an unreasonable quantity of time while awaiting the medicine canine to arrive. Merely speaking, if the apprehending policeman could not generate the medicine pet to the scene while it requires to run your tags as well as create a ticket, the usage of the dog ends up being constitutionally suspect.

So if you’re pulled over and the policeman warns to call in the K-9 unit, you are not bound to say yes to searches. While waiting for the dog to come, you can also know if it is appropriate for you to leave by straightly asking if you are free to go. If the police officer refuses and goes ahead to detain you until the dogs arrive, you have the right to remain silent and keep on refusing consent to a dog sniff, even if the policeman claims you should have to give consent.

You need to be aware that opening your car for the policeman or turning over your keys is the same as consent. If the court determines that the officer had no reason to detain you, any proof uncovered by the drug dog may perhaps be thrown out in court.

The Reliability of Drug Sniffing Dogs

For countless years, canines have been used by humans for their amazing sense of smell, as their noses contain greater than 200 million receptors (compared to the 10 million that humans possess). Several breeds even have the outstanding ability to discover certain scents of things which are totally submerged in water, which is quite vital for law enforcement because drug smugglers often try and conceal the smell of drugs with other substance.

This is not to claim that a dog’s sense of smell is foolproof, and the reliability of many drug sniffing dogs has been brought into question in court. The American Society of Canine Trainers (ASCT) even confess to the incredibly poor accuracy rates of drug sniffing dogs, explaining averages as low as 62 % (Currency Searches, 2015).

There are numerous factors and variables for this extremely low accuracy level. At times, a trained drug dog’s sense of smell is even so strong, and may lead to the detection of trace scents left by drugs which are not existing anymore. It should also be taken into consideration that there is a significant distinction between what a dog can do, versus what a dog actually does. What the dog really does is almost totally based on the training received, for which there are no required national standards for certification. Additionally, no matter how effective or ineffective a dog may be, it is capable of acting on its very own behalf and consequently, it could be nearly difficult to identify the motivation for any certain feedback.

Absolutely, we would love to believe that these animals are selfless and devoted to delighting their handlers, yet that by itself could be complicated. Canine trainers could accidentally cue signals from their dogs by leading them too slowly or way too many times around an automobile.

Contact Minnesota Drug Attorney

Never conclude that if the police are in a position of power, they are always right. If you feel you were subjected to an illegal drug search, you deserve to have the issue investigated by a competent Minnesota drug attorney.


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