Were you a victim of a prolonged traffic stop in which drugs were found in your vehicle due to a drug-dog’s sniff? If so, contact Byrnes Law Firm today at 636-896-4300 and we will tell you about the new developments in the law that may be favorable to your case. In April, the Supreme Court greatly strengthened the Fourth Amendment when they ruled 6 to 3 that a simple traffic violation is not enough to allow the police to have a drug dog sniff your car.
This ruling is a significant change because drug-sniffing dogs were previously given greater latitude to sniff around vehicles during a traffic stop.
The case, Rodriguez v. United States involved a Nebraska police officer observing a Mercury Mountaineer driven by Dennys Rodriguez cross onto the shoulder of a state highway a few minutes after midnight. The officer performed a routine traffic stop, and then gave Rodriguez a written warning. At that point, the officer completed the traffic stop. But the officer went further and had his drug-sniffing dog, Floyd, sniff around the vehicle. Floyd alerted the officer that drugs were in the vehicle, and the officer found a large bag containing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
With this new case, absent any other signs of criminal wrongdoing, once the police have completed their traffic-related mission of checking your driver’s license, looking up any outstanding warrants, inspecting insurance and registration, officer must send you on your way. A dog sniff is NOT a part of officer’s traffic mission but instead to detect evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Laws protect you from unreasonable search and seizure. You do not need to consent to a search. In fact, you should respectfully object and ask if you are free to leave. These two questions may help you avoid an illegal search or may later help you in court.
If you were found in possession of drugs: meth, heroin, marijuana, marijuana, or prescription drugs, you have RIGHTS. Let the attorneys at Byrnes Law Firm evaluate your case today. We have cutting-edge knowledge of drug law, and search and seizure laws. Do not take a criminal conviction when your Fourth Amendment rights may have been violated! Call 636-896-4300. Our first consultation is free.