Drug sniffing dog search. What are the issues I should address in court first

Asked over 1 year ago - Tampa, FL

Dog alerted on the passenger side front door of a vehicle I was driving that belonged to a friend which gave probably cause to search. After several hours of searching with mutiple officers and mutiple passes with detection dog officers find a package on a trailer sitting in plain site. Dog sniffed package at least 3 time yet never alerted on it and only alerted on a door almost 20 feet away from alledged location of drugs found. Now in federal court and want to know what possible grounds I could file motions on. I have a lawyer but he doesn't seem to want to fight this case. My finger prints were never found nor were they on the package. I've never even hinted that I knew about anything they claim to have found

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The lawyers on Avvo aren't here to undermine the respresentation of your attorney. If your attorney is not doing his job, fire him and retain a new attorney.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You ned to post this in the criminal law section, not personal injury.

  3. Matthew Ryan Gunter

    Contributor Level 12

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Some of the issues your attorney can address with regards to a drug sniffing dog are the dog and officers training or lack thereof. Also, the history of the dog's alerts vs non alerts. Another issue is whether anything was found following the dog's alerts. The officer should be keeping logs every time the dog is deployed in the field. Your attorney should review these logs and attack the dog's reliability in the field. Good luck!

  4. Jonathan Hackworth

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am going to relist this in the crimina defense practice area. I recommend you contact a Tampa criminal defense attorney to handle this matter for you. Give my office a call to discuss the matter this weekend, if you would like.

    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney... more
  5. Colleen M. Glenn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you already have an attorney, you are better served asking him these questions since he is much more familiar with the facts of your case than any of us are. I agree with the other response that if you are not happy with your lawyer fire him and hire a new one.

  6. Colin Keith Morrison

    Contributor Level 2

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 1. Reasonable Suspicion to Detain
    Police officers cannot pull a car over absent a reason to suspect the person in the vehicle has committed a crime/traffic violation or the vehicle contains evidence of a crime. ---Brendlin vs. California

    2. Probable Cause to Search
    Police must have probable cause that you possess evidence of a crime in the vehicle to allow a warrantless search.

    If police claimed they had probable cause to search the car because you did own it (suspected theft) there may be a search issue because the search must fit the crime suspected: They must explain how they believed a full vehicle search would reveal evidence of auto theft (questionable).

    If police claimed probable cause to search based on information they had about criminal activity of the vehicle's owner then they must also have credible information that the owner put evidence of crime in the vehicle.

    **3. Unreasonable Length of Detention
    Police cannot indefinitely detain a suspect. At some point if the investigation fails to reveal anything that would provide further suspicion they must cease the investigation and detention.

    3. Reliability of Canine Alert- Conformity with Investigation
    Police cannot use any instance of a dog barking to justify taking apart a car. In canine searches, police must demonstrate that the canine clearly indicated the area subject to search.

    4. Knowledge of Contraband
    One must knowingly exercise control over contraband to be found guilty of possession. Facts must show that you personally knew the contraband was in the car.

    The above comments are general comments regarding the law and are not legal conclusions or legal advice. They are... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,781 answers this week

3,101 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,781 answers this week

3,101 attorneys answering