High Court Rules Police Required Warrant to Use Drug-Sniffing Dog On Front Porch of House

In another important search and seizure case, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Miami-Dade police violated the defendants constitutional rights when they used a dog to sniff outside the front porch of a house they suspected was used to grow marijuana. Only after the dog alerted the police, did they obtained a warrant and arrest the defendant for trafficking in cannabis and grand theft. The Supreme Court ruled that the drugs, the evidence obtained against the defendant, must be suppressed because the police illegally obtained the evidence. When the police came to the front porch of the house and used the drug sniffing dog, they did not have the defendant’s permission to be on the property, which is an extension of the constitutionally protected home. Therefore, the police were required to have a warrant before they used the police dog outside the front door of the house. Notably, this ruling applies not just to homeowners but to anyone occupying a home. The Supreme Court rejected the argument presented by the prosecution that a warrant was not required in this case because it would not be illegal for a police officer to smell marijuana from the front porch. However, the Court relied on another case it handed down last year, ruling that police need a warrant before placing a GPS unit under a suspect’s car. Finding the search to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the Supreme Court ruled that the evidence had to be suppressed.

This is an important case that originated right here in South Florida and further emphasizes the need to hire an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to protect your constitutional rights. Herman Law, P.A. is a respected law firm, whose managing shareholder, Ron Herman, works hard to defend people in unfortunate circumstances. An established and top rated lawyer, Mr. Herman has handled over 150 jury trials and is dedicated to achieving the best possible resolution for his clients. To schedule a free consultation for Mr. Herman to evaluate your case, call Herman Law, P.A. at 888.342.0622 or visit us at www.RHLawFL.com.