Drug Dogs | Search and Seizure | Traffic Stops

Drug Dogs and Traffic Stops
Drug Defense Attorney, Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer, W.F. ''Casey'' Ebsary, Jr. has been researching drug dogs, drug dog sniffs, and traffic stops. One court recently made an interesting ruling that threw out cocaine seized after an extended traffic stop and subsequent drug dog sniff. Let's take a look at the decision.

The court became concerned after evidence of a prolonged delay after a traffic stop for speeding. The citation was written, but the cop held the driver for a drug dog to arrive. A Motion to Suppress cocaine was filed and denied by the trial court. The Appeals court reversed the decision finding that a drug dog alerted on the vehicle after the officer had detained defendant for almost thirty minutes before issuing citation. The court also found the search began after the traffic citation was issued and the purpose of the traffic stop was completed.

The law requires that without an ''articulable suspicion of criminal activity'' the time taken to issue a traffic citation can last no longer than necessary to make required license and registration checks and write a citation.  A completed traffic stop cannot be delayed or extended to set up and conduct a drug dog sniff search. The delay cannot even be de minimus, a fancy legal term for small or short.

Source: 35 Fla. L. Weekly D915a

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Drug Dogs - Search and Seizure - Traffic Stops