For years police officers have gone through extreme lengths to keep drivers detained while awaiting back up in the form of a German Shepherd with a keen nose for marijuana in hopes of finding illegal drugs. There are countless instances of cops pulling over drivers for any number of reasons only to call for K-9 back up at the very last moment.
Luckily for motorists in the US, the Supreme Court has announced that it will review a case which could potentially change how these “routine” traffic stops play out.
The case comes in the form of an instance in Nebraska where a man was pulled over in 2012 for a minor traffic infraction. The kicker was that it took only 21 minutes for the officer to issue Denny Rodriguez the traffic ticket; however, they proceeded to hold him for an additional 6 minutes while waiting for a K-9 unit to arrive.
Once the dog sniffed Rodriguez’s car, it instantly alerted the officers that there were drugs in the car and after searching the vehicle they found a small amount of methamphetamine.
Rodriguez subsequently plead guilty to the drug charges; however, his attorney later filed an appeal because the search occurred after the officer had already issued the ticket which is a direct violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in regards to this case at the beginning of 2015, with a decision being made no earlier than June of 2015. This case is of extreme importance because whatever the Supreme Court decides will ultimately set the standard for how long police officers will be allowed to detain drivers during basic traffic stops.