Search By Dogs Limited In Traffic Stops
Search By Dogs Limited In Traffic Stops
Early last year, the United States Supreme Court limited the use of drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops. The 6-3 ruling last spring put an end to the common practice of conducting a routine traffic stop, then calling for a drug-sniffing dog to examine the stopped vehicle. In their ruling, the justices said that such a stop constituted an illegal search and seizure.

Traffic stop not enough reason for dog search

In her majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said that officers may not prolong the detention of motorist longer than a time reasonably required to address a suspected moving violation. She also said that a stop gives an officer the right to inspect the driver and his or her license, but does not open the door to an unrelated inspection of the vehicle for drugs or other contraband. In 2013, the justices ruled that police may not use drug-sniffing dogs around the front door of a home without a warrant.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend is an expert in search and seizure cases. The Constitution makes some very specific provisions for the examination and seizure of private property, and law enforcement agencies sometimes overstep their authority when it comes to the discovery of evidence. You don’t have to consent to a search of your person, your home or your car, even when a police officer makes it seem as though you do. Improper or just plain illegal search and seizure actions can jeopardize a prosecutor’s entire case, but it’s up to the defense attorney to make the Court address this issue.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years and can assist in your criminal case. If you believe the evidence against you was illegally obtained, that you were coerced into allowing a search of your person, your possessions, your home or your car, or you believe the evidence against you was mishandled or manipulated by investigators or the prosecution, do not wait! Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County search and seizure case.

Photo Credit: Erdogan Ergun, via

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