In a decision of first impression, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently ruled police officers cannot take a drug sniffing dogs onto the property of a potential suspect without a search warrant. Police organizations are concerned this will limit their ability to use drug smelling dogs to locate illegal narcotics.
Evidence Seized, Thrown Out Of Court
Justice Antonin Scalia, in the Supreme Court’s ruling, stated the Fourth Amendment of the United States constitution guarantees Americans the right to be free of government intrusion into their homes and in the areas surrounding their homes. He further stated “the police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trolling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of a home.”
Supreme Court Justice Scalia went on to say it was not the dog that was the problem “but the behavior here that involved the use of the dog.” “We think a typical person would find it is a cause for great alarm to find a stranger snooping on his front porch with or without a warrant.”
The case involved Miami-Dade Police Department and Federal DEA agents investigating a marijuana growing operation in Florida. The defense counsel for the individual charged with possessing marijuana plants argued the dogs sniffing outside the door of the home where the marijuana plants were located was an unconstitutional intrusion by law enforcement officers into the home without a search warrant. In this case, the United States Supreme Court agreed.
About The Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his staff of criminal attorneys have been representing individuals charged with crimes, investigated regarding crimes and arrested for more than 35 years. The office offers free consultations to prospective clients. The office phones are monitored 7 days a week and the law firm can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.