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!
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.
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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 advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions
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 general commentary based on limited facts and do not necessarily apply to any pending legal case. The law is very specific and every fact is a factor. These comments should in no way be construed as questioning the legal judgment of any attorney retained to represent anyone for a pending case. If represented by counsel, that attorney retains superior knowledge of the specific facts of the case and issues involved.
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.