SCOTUS Review Denied Motion to Suppress Based on Improper Search by Drug Dog
Although the following example comes from another state, issues involving violations of constitutional rights based upon searches for drugs by police dogs arise regularly in Michigan courts on both felony and misdemeanor drug charges. The top criminal defense attorneys handling criminal charges in Michigan stay abreast of the latest rulings on constitutional rights so that their clients receive the highest level of protection from prosecutors and judges.
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Dennys Rodriguez v United States of America. This case started as a traffic stop for veering off the shoulder of the highway and jerking back on to it. The officer that made the stop was a K-9 officer, and his dog Floyd was with him that night. The officer issued Rodriguez a written warning and then asked for permission to walk his dog around Rodriguez’s vehicle. Rodriguez denied consent and was ordered to exit his vehicle. He did and stood in front of the patrol car until a second officer arrived. A minute after the arrival of the second officer, Floyd was walked around the outside of Rodriguez’s car. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs approximately 20-30 seconds later. The time from the start of the stop to the dog alerting was seven to eight minutes. A search of the vehicle revealed a large bag of methamphetamine.
The federal district court denied Rodriguez’s motion to suppress holding that the delay caused by the use of the dog did not violate Rodriquez’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures. There was an appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the seven to eight-minute delay was a minimal intrusion of Rodriguez’s personal liberty. Mr. Rodriguez was able to convince the United States Supreme Court to hear his appeal.
There is no hearing date scheduled as of yet.
MICHIGAN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS – CONSTITUTIONAL LAW VIOLATION ATTORNEYS
As police departments continue to come up with more and more “creative” ways to justify searches and seizures in violation of a person’s constitutional rights, it is important to keep abreast of the current status of the law that relates to their use. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are recognized experts in the area of constitutional law, its application to people charged with criminal offenses, and filing motions to dismiss charges or suppress evidence when seized in violation of the law. Criminal law is the only area of the law that LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. attorneys practice.
Our attorneys are constantly reading and attending continuing legal education seminars to keep current on the every changing criminal law. If you are facing state or federal criminal charges, or actually charged, please contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 and we will put our expertise to work for you. You may also contact us by completing a Request for Assistance Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.