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Cody W. Dowden, Attorney at Law

United States Supreme Court - April 21, 2015

Rodriguez v. U.S. - reasonable suspicion is required to extend a traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff - vacated and remanded

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Certain types of police-citizen interactions are tolerated under the Constitution because of the need to police certain prohibited actions. A traffic stop is allowed under Terry v. Ohio as a brief stop as opposed to a full arrest. However, once the purpose for that stop is concluded police must release you unless additional reasonable suspicion is developed to extend the stop longer.

Here, the traffic stop was concluded, but then the driver was held longer so a drug dog could sniff around the vehicle. The Supreme Court held that this longer detention was unconsitutional and that the search and finding of drugs after the dog sniff must be suppressed.