March 14, 2015

Drug Dog Sniffs - Bo the Dog Busts his Owner

drug dog, drug detection dog, Drug Dogs
Drug Dog Sniffs
"evidence of a drug-sniffing dog’s satisfactory performance in a certification or training program, the dog’s alert can provide probable cause to search a vehicle."

Drug Dog Search Update - Breaking news that an unwitting dog helped police bust his owner. The cops were chasing a drug suspect who hid in tall grass. The narcs had noticed the suspect had a dog. For those playing along at home, the dog's name was Bo. Anyhow, when confronted by the police, the man and his faithful companion hit the road. The dog followed his owner. The police lost the track. They noticed the dog was standing nearby. They said, "go get him." That is what Bo the dog did. His owner was found hiding nearby. Good dog? 

2015 Updated Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/01/us/alabama-dog-drug-bust/
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Weird/wireStory/mans-dog-helps-police-bust-drug-charge-26559491

Also in an update the state of the case law discussed below: One legal source summarized the result of the Supreme Court review of dog sniffs. "When, subject to challenge by the defendant, the police provide evidence of a drug-sniffing dog’s satisfactory performance in a certification or training program, the dog’s alert can provide probable cause to search a vehicle."


Tampa Drug Defense Attorney has received an interesting comment on Drug Sniffing Dogs from one of our anonymous sources.

I post the anonymous comment it in its entirety:

"The dog lovers at the United States Supreme Court have once more dissed the dog haters at the Florida Supreme Court (I'm a cat person myself). You may recall that in January the SCOTUS granted cert in Florida v. Jardines, No. 11-564, to decide the question whether a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause. Starring in Jardines is a drug-sniffing dog named Franky." 

"Today, not content with one Florida drug-sniffing dog case per term, the SCOTUS granted cert in Florida v. Harris, No. 11-817, another drug-sniffing dog case. I am not sure of the exact question presented, but I do know the name of the dog -- Aldo.   In any event, the holding of the Florida Supreme Court to be reviewed is as follows:"

"We hold the fact that a drug-detection dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone, is not sufficient to demonstrate the reliability of the dog. To demonstrate that an officer has a reasonable basis for believing that an alert by a drug-detection dog is sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to search, the State must present evidence of the dog's training and certification records, an explanation of the meaning of the particular training and certification, field performance records (including any unverified alerts), and evidence concerning the experience and training of the officer handling the dog, as well as any other objective evidence known to the officer about the dog's reliability. The trial court must then assess the reliability of the dog's alert as a basis for probable cause to search the vehicle based on a totality of the circumstances. Because in this case the totality of the circumstances does not support a probable cause determination, the trial court should have granted the motion to suppress. We remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion." 

 Harris v. State, 71 So.3d 756, 775 (Fla. 2011).

UPDATED 2015

The United States Supreme Court overruled Florida and found that, "Such inaccuracies do not taint records of a dog’s performance in standard training and certification settings, making that performance a better measure of a dog’s reliability. Field records may sometimes be relevant, but the court should evaluate all the evidence and should not prescribe an inflexible set of requirements. "

Here is the Ruling in the US Supreme Court on Drug Sniffing Dogs: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-817_5if6.pdf

More on the status of Drug Sniffing Dogs in Court is here:

Drug Dog Accuracy Update

 Drug Dog Sniff Questions? Call Casey at 813-222-2220