Police K-9s: When is a sniff an unwarranted search?
POSTED: Monday, October 29, 2012 - 6:28pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 29, 2012 - 6:36pm
TYLER — The fourth amendement guards against unreasonable search and seizure.
And according to the Miami herald, a couple of cases in Florida questioned how constitutional drug sniffing K-9's really are.
The paper says, one Florida police officer and his K-9 partner walked up to a doorstep after receiving a tip. The dog seemed to smell something inside. They got a search warrant and found a pot growing operation.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled the sniff to be an illegal search.
The court also sided with a man who claims his vehicle was sniffed during a routine traffic stop and with reasonable cause from the dog, the vehicle was searched. Meth ingredients were found inside.
Both of these cases are now going to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tyler criminal defense attorney Bobby Mims has a pretty good guess at what will happen.
"I suspect the Supreme Court's gonna come down on the side of limiting these searches with houses but also expanding their use with respect to vehicles, that's been historically the trend," Mims said.
Mims is a big defender of the fourth amendement.
"Hopefully they will honor our sanctity of the home, but also at the same time, allow law enforcement the flexibility it needs to enforce the drug laws," Mims said.
KETK spoke with an East Texas political buff who's actually planning on running for mayor of Tyler what he thinks about how reliable K-9's really are.
"Most of those dogs are very well trained and they usually don't make mistakes. If they stop at a location, there's probably some kind of drugs or something that shouldn't be there," said Joel Rando.
The case is going to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.