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Supreme Court ruling on drug sniffing dogs presents many questions


The Supreme Court took up a case that might affect everyone's rights to privacy. The Court ruled that a positive alert by drug sniffing dogs could warrant a search on a person's vehicle even if an officer with the dog didn't have a real reason to investigate, other than having a suspicion.

The reason that this ruling could be troubling is because of studies on the accuracy of drug sniffing dogs and the fact that a simple event by a dog could result in an otherwise unreasonable search of a person's vehicle. According to a 2006 study in Australian, the number of police dogs that return a false-positive detection of drugs was between 44 and 93 percent. What do you think? Should police be able to search a vehicle if a police dog detects the smell of an illegal substance?

What if you knew that the dog was wrong with its detection 93 percent of the time? Some people may think that they have nothing to hide, so they wouldn't mind it. If the same was true about police entering a person's home, their reaction would likely be much different. Sometimes police overstep their boundaries and can violate a person's rights. This means a person might be accused of a crime that they didn't commit.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help a person understand their rights and work to form a rigorous defense. When a person's rights are violated, they may face unfair treatment and a wrongful conviction.

Source:, "Where Does a Cop With an 80-Pound Dog Search? Anywhere he wants," Jacob Sullum, Feb. 27, 2013

-Our law firm handles many criminal defense cases in New Jersey. Please visit our website to learn more.

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