Brian J Smith
Rodriguez v. United States and Drug Dogs: What to Do
On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling that limits the ability of law enforcement officers to make people wait for a drug dog to arrive following a stop for a traffic violation. In the case, the court ruled that making a person wait even a few minutes after a stop has been completed is in violation of the person’s 4th Amendment rights against unconstitutional seizures. Here is what you should do if a cop asks you to wait for a drug dog to come.
Upon Your Stop
When an officer pulls you over for a traffic offense, they may ask you for your license, registration and insurance. You should hand these documents to them. If you do not know why you were stopped, ask the officer. Keep your hands visible at all times. If an officer develops additional suspicion, they may complete a search. After the officer has written your ticket, ask if you are free to leave.
If They Make You Wait
If an officer makes you wait for a drug dog anyway, it is best to simply stay. Leaving anyway is not a good idea. The matter can be litigated by your attorney later in your case.
A Drug Dog Finds Your Drugs
At this point, you will most likely be arrested. You should assert your rights to remain silent and to hire an attorney. If you answer questions, what you say can be used against you to prosecute you. Your drug lawyer in Las Vegas can file constitutional motions challenging the officer’s detention of you for a duration beyond the reason for your traffic stop. Remember to keep calm, remain silent and assert your right to an attorney if the police hold you for a drug dog’s arrival in your traffic stop.