Traffic stops cannot be extended for a drug dog sniff. On April 21, 2015, the United States Supreme Court, in Dennys Rodriguez v. United States, held that police may not keep the motorist waiting after the ticket is written they have no reasonable suspicion justifying the extra time. Essentially, police may not turn routine traffic stops into drug searches using trained dogs. Police officers who stop a car for a traffic violation are justified in “checking the driver’s license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of insurance.” “These checks serve the same objective as enforcement of the traffic code: ensuring that vehicles on the road are operated safely and responsibly.” A dog sniff is “not an ordinary incident of a traffic stop,” but is instead, “a measure aimed at detecting evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing.”
“Authority for the seizure thus ends when the tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—and reasonably should have been—completed.” “The critical question, then is not whether the dog sniff occurs before or after the officer issues a ticket, . . . but whether conducting the sniff prolongs—i.e. adds time to—the stop.” In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling could have the effect of overturning the drug-related conviction and five year prison sentence that resulted from the use of the drug sniffing dog after the driver was issued a warning ticket for briefly driving on the shoulder.
Traffic Stops Cannot Be Extended For A Drug Dog Sniff Decision Is Part Of A Legal Trend
This case may be part of a pattern of cases limiting the use of drug sniffing canines (K-9). Two years ago, the justices ruled police may not use drug sniffing dogs around the front door of a home without a search warrant, stressing the privacy expectations of a home.
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Attorney Gigiano is an experienced Medina County DUI attorney in Wadsworth, Orrville criminal defense attorney in Medina County and Barberton DUI attorney in Wadsworth. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced Wooster criminal defense lawyer in Medina County or Summit County DUI lawyer in Wadsworth, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330. Attorney Gigiano’s office is located at 102 Main St., Ste. 200, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281.