Drug Sniff Dogs

Iowa State Highway Patrol, the Criminal Interdiction Team, have dogs.  They bring the dogs to sniff around the car you are driving.

The courts do not consider this a search.  If you are in a rental car, the car probably has had illegal drugs in it at one time or another.  Don’t be surprised when the trooper says his dog hit on the car and then tears your car apart looking for drugs.

Do not consent to a search under the threat of a dog sniff.  If you consent to a search, you may not have a defense to any charges brought against you.

The United States Supreme Court in Rodriguez v. United States has recently ruled that law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to bring a dog to your car for a sniff. Now don’t misunderstand this: to a trooper just about anything will be used for reasonable suspicion. They will say nervousness is a basis to bring the dog; they will say being not nervous is a basis to bring the dog. This decision brings a long and tedious area of litigation as to what is reasonable suspicion and what is not, but it does give you hope.

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