They couldn't detain him for an extended length of time for the purpose of bringing in the drug dog. But since they were arresting him on the warrants anyway, that's irrelevant. They also could have just done an inventory search of the vehicle, because they could have impounded it based on his arrest and the vehicle's location. All that being said, his attorney should certainly review what the police state as their probable cause in their report.
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Agreed. Police can search a vehicle incident to arrest and the warrant is sufficient reason to arrest.
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If you are pulled over for a minor traffic offense, then issued a citation, the car normally cannot be searched without consent. See Knowles v. Iowa, 525 U.S. 113 (1998). However, once he was subject to arrest upon a valid warrant (if there actually was an arrest warrant), the police normally could impound the car and do an "inventory search," with evidence from that search being admissible into evidence. I do not see where they even needed the dog, or consent. However, his lawyer can make an argument that the car should not have been searched or seized, and a judge might rule his way. The only way to know for sure is to try. A case on illegal search can be decided by the US Supreme Court and have the justices disagree, so it is not surprising that attorneys and judges might disagree on this search.
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I agree with the other attorneys that the police could have searched the passenger compartment as a search incident to arrest, and the entire car pursuant to the inventory exception to the warrant requirement.
If the police claim that they conducted an inventory search in this situation, but cannot actually produce the inventory sheet, a lawyer has a good argument for suppressing anything found in the car. The Supreme Court has held that police cannot use the inventory exception to go on a rummaging expedition - if police want to use the exception, then they actually need to inventory the car. Your friend needs to a hire a lawyer who knows what to ask for in discovery (the inventory sheet), and who will properly brief the court on the suppression issue (if there is one).
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