A New Crime Fighting Tool — Computer Sniffing Dogs

Man’s Best Friend can also become someone’s worst enemy – Why you need a 4th Amendment Attorney in Michigan

How Police Dogs are Trained how police dogs are trained

Dogs are a critical component of any modern police department.

A rescued Black Labrador Retriever named “Bear” was instrumental in the arrest of Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. Bear is one of only three electronic detection police canines in the country. Police train these dogs to sniff out thumb drives, iPads, laptops, iPhones, and other electronic devices. They can find electronic devices the size of a fingernail. The dogs are trained to detect a chemical odor emitting from electronic devices, even after they’ve been turned off and powered down. Also, there will still be the smell of the person who hid the item. These dogs are used in all sorts of computer-related crimes, including child pornography, terrorism, and financial fraud crimes. It is pretty amazing what these dogs can do. This being said, it is still possible that a defendant’s rights are violated when a law enforcement dog searches their property. A 4th Amendment criminal defense attorney in Michigan can help.

Police departments all over the nation are taking notice. Criminal defense attorneys must be aware of this new type of police dog and what to do if they run across such a dog in a case they are defending. It is the job of a highly experienced 4th Amendment Attorney in Michigan to challenge the constitutionality of these searches when police use these animals as a pretext for warrantless searches and seizures.

Motion to Suppress Dog Sniff Evidence

In arguing a Motion to Suppress Dog Sniff Evidence utilizing the 4th Amendment, a criminal defense attorney in Michigan might focus on several key areas:

Questioning the Reliability of the Dog: The defense might challenge the dog’s training and certification, arguing that the dog or its handler is not sufficiently reliable.

Violations of Constitutional Rights: The lawyer might argue that the dog sniff was an unreasonable search, potentially violating the Fourth Amendment, particularly if it occurred without a warrant or probable cause.

Improper Handling or Cues: The defense could contend that the handler unintentionally or intentionally cued the dog to alert, casting doubt on the impartiality of the sniff.

Lack of Probable Cause: The lawyer might argue that there was no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to justify the initial stop or the subsequent dog sniff.

Timing and Location Issues: The defense could challenge the sniff based on where and when it occurred, arguing it was not legally permissible under the circumstances.

These arguments are tailored to undermine the dog sniff evidence’s credibility and assert the defendant’s constitutional rights.

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What is the 4th Amendment about?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is primarily focused on privacy and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It requires that any search or seizure by law enforcement must be reasonable and often necessitates a warrant backed by probable cause. This Amendment plays a crucial role in limiting the powers of the police and protecting citizens’ rights to privacy and security in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.

Why does the 4th Amendment apply to Michigan?

The Fourth Amendment applies to Michigan, as it does to all states in the U.S., because it is part of the United States Constitution. The Constitution, including its amendments, establishes fundamental laws and rights that are applicable throughout the United States, including all individual states. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, the incorporation doctrine ensures that the rights and protections offered by the Bill of Rights (which includes the Fourth Amendment) are applied at the state level, thus making them enforceable against state governments and not just the federal government. This legal principle ensures that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures are upheld in Michigan, just as in every other state in the U.S.

If evidence is suppressed, does that mean the case will be dismissed?

If evidence in a criminal case is suppressed, it does not automatically mean the case will be dismissed. Suppression means that the evidence cannot be used at trial, which could weaken the prosecution’s case. However, the case may proceed if other evidence supports the charges. The decision to dismiss a case is at the discretion of the judge or the prosecution and depends on the overall strength of the remaining evidence without the suppressed material.

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4th Amendment Attorney in Michigan with Innovative and Effective Ways of Protecting You

Police are always coming up with bigger and better ways to fight crime. The problem lies in the real-world use of new methods. Using police canines to find electronics is scary to the point of futuristic or like something from a Star Trek episode. Technology is essential to our daily lives. However, it is more critical that technology not infringe on our constitutional privacy rights. The police use of dogs to find technology brings up many issues and potential abuses. Law enforcement’s tendency to violate a suspect’s civil rights is why a defendant needs the best 4th Amendment attorney in Michigan to protect them.

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have spent their entire legal careers fighting to protect citizens from law enforcement abuses and protect constitutional rights. We also have access to several experts who can help form a defense against the usage of police dogs and the dog’s training. Dogs are great; they help sniff for bombs and even cancer, which can save numerous lives. Just as they are great for some things, there are potential abuses. You need to have a 4th Amendment Attorney in Michigan who understands that just because the police dog is an excellent police tool – it does not mean that dog is being used properly or is properly trained. Call us for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and work with you to develop a winning strategy.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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