Criminal Defense

Why Officers Need a Warrant for Canine Search

Officers are not allowed to perform searches around a home using police dogs without a search warrant.  A little over a month ago, The United States Supreme Court solidified this in Florida v. Jardines No. 11-564.

In Jardines, an officer approached Jardines’ front porch with a drug-sniffing dog and waited for the dog to give a positive alert.  Once the dog alerted the officer, the officer left the residence and used the canine alert as the main basis to obtain a search warrant for Jardines’ residence.

In their opinion, the Supreme Court clearly stated that law enforcement’s “use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment”, and as such requires a valid search warrant.


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