hard to say on these facts, but maybe the cops felt it was stronger if the trained drug detection dog alerted versus merely the cops' perception.
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While the officers don't need consent to search your vehicle on a traffic stop, there are exceptions to the rule. Any criminal defense attorney would tell you that the can search your car on a stop if they are arresting you, otherwise, typically, they would be limited to your wingspan search in the vehicle. Why did the officers initially stop you? If that reason was not enough to arrest you he can't search your car unless you are under arrest. I agree with the other attorney though, without having more facts it would be difficult to figure out why he asked to search your car. The more important question was, why did you allow him to search your car?
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On the facts presented, they could have. Maybe they wanted to practice their procedures and training.
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Your question is very "light" on facts about the search. There are differences between searches of residences and vehicles and specific facts affect each one differently. In my experience, K-9s are often called in to do a walk around of a vehicle in order to get Probable Cause to search a vehicle. Remember, there are many issues that can affect the validity of a search - including something as simple as how long it took the K-9 unit to arrive/search. This type of case requires a detailed investigation of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the search. I recommend that you consult with an Experienced and Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney - ASAP!!! I hope this information has been helpful. Good Luck!
George McCranie www.mccranielawfirm.com
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