The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a drug dog sniffing detection case involving one of our favorite brave and faithful Florida canine friends, named Franky, whose unfortunate occupation is sniffing the front door of Florida homes for drugs so that search warrants can be obtained. The case is from an appeal of the Florida Supreme Court in Florida v. Jardines in which the Florida Court stated that, “This Court has explained that a dog sniff is not a search because the sole knowledge that the dog obtains by sniffing is the presence of contraband, which a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in possessing in the first place.”
It’s my strong belief that Florida Supreme Court is misguided, because a home – not being a public place but in some respects the only private place left for us – should be treated differently than say, an airport – where the immediate safety of all passengers may require greater scrutiny and the use of drug dogs to find drugs or explosives without a warrant.
The case will resolve the constitutional issue of whether police must have probable cause, that is a strong belief that evidence of a crime exists and that the evidence will be found at the scene, before law enforcement officers can use a drug dog to sniff at the front door of a suspect home which the officers believe is a marijuana grow house (a home that has been converted into a virtual garden for marijuana plants).
Two important probable cause issues will be determined which your favorite Clearwater Drug Defense Attorney believes you’ll find of interest:
(1) Whether a dog sniffing at the front door of a suspected marijuana grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause.
(2) And Whether the officers’ conduct during the investigation of the marijuana grow house, including remaining outside the house while waiting for the search warrant is in and of itself, a Fourth Amendment search.
This blog earlier discussed probable cause issues with vehicles involving another Drug Dog named Aldo whose sniffing was found by the Florida Supreme Court to not be up to snuff. Should you need expert legal defense have a Clearwater Defense Attorney take a look at your case.
|Andsell Richard, The Lucky Dogs, 1881|