How long can an officer detain a person for a simple traffic stop before k9 unit arrives on the scene to do free air search

Asked about 1 year ago - Kane, IL

Was at a friends house getting help working on my car and was pulled over for a missing front license plate...police suspected my friend of drug activity and said thats he real reason he pulled me over he was calling k9

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Louis Joseph Meyer


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . That is a question open to debate. I have read court opinions that said 15 mins is far to long. Other times that is fine. The question is did they delay in finding the answer to the reason the stop was initiated. They cannot unreasonable extend the duration of the stop to wait for the K9 uniti.

    Watch the video on YouTube "Breakfast in collinsville" then watch "lodging in collinsville"

    I am trying to fight these K9 cases. The handlers can say anything is a positive alert Nd it is hard to challenge.

  2. Joshua Sachs

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . I will start by acknowledging that if I ever researched this specific question it was a long time ago and I do not remember exactly what I found. But my intuition is that the courts will hold that the controlling question is whether the detention and search were "reasonable" under all the circumstances, and this calls for a judgment call by the trial court judge based on the facts as developed at hearing on a motion to suppress. I imagine that you will not find specific codified time limit but rather numerous decisions holding that, on the facts of a particular case, a dog search and the resulting delay was or was not "reasonable."

  3. James S. Lawrence


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . You or your attorney might want to present a claim of unlawful and excessive detention. One leading case on the subject is Knowles v Iowa, 525 US 113 (1998). If it wins, the evidence found might be suppressed. However, look out for police claims that they had reasonable fear for their safety, citing to Arizona v Gant, 556 US 332 (2009). If the cops had you get out of the car that improves your legal position. The longer the delay, the better your legal position. You can read these cases at or

    Contact me at 248-399-6930 for a free consultation. You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed... more

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