Supreme Court ruling may lead to more police dog searches in the field

supreme court



In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, theSupreme Court gave law enforcement more authority to use dogs to justify searches. The Supreme Court upheld the search of a truck that had methamphetamine ingredients inside. The justices stated that training records had established that Aldo, a German shepherd, was a reliable source for sniffing contraband. Florida’s Supreme Court had previously suppressed evidence obtained after Aldo had a “free air sniff” outside Clayton Harris’ pickup truck in 2006. Harris had refused consent to a search of his vehicle.

“The question – similar to every inquiry into probable cause – is whether all the facts surrounding a dog’s alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court. “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test.”


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