inner-background-image

Always a defense attorney,
NEVER a prosecutor

MY PRACTICE IS DEVOTED TO THE DEFENSE OF CRIMINAL
CASES THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF FLORIDA

person-image

The story behind the lawsuit that eventually went before the U.S. Supreme Court began when police pulled a driver over for apparently driving erratically. When asked about his driving, the man said he had hit a pothole, and it jerked the vehicle over, so he had been righting the trajectory of the car.

The officer asked the driver for his documentation — driver’s license, insurance, registration — and then asked the driver to come back to the cruiser with him. The driver declined. The officer questioned the passenger, called for backup, finished issuing tickets and asked the driver if he would submit to a dog sniff.

The driver and other car occupants objected. The dog later found methamphetamine. The Supreme Court indicated that keeping the vehicle beyond the time needed to wrap up the traffic matter constituted an unlawful seizure.

In Rodriguez v. United States, (No. 13-9972), the U.S. Supreme Court Justices handed down a ruling stating that once a “routine” traffic stop is completed, law enforcement cannot, unless there is “reasonable” suspicion, hold a driver and/or passenger to have a dog sniff their persons or property for illegal drugs. The main reasoning behind the Justices’ decision was that authority for a seizure or stop ends when all tasks related to a traffic violation are, or should have been, completed.

The court said: “A seizure for a traffic violation justifies a police investigation of that violation” — no more — and “authority for the seizure…ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are — or reasonably should have been — completed.” Detaining a vehicle to bring in a drug-sniffing dog to search for drugs is definitely not allowed under this ruling.

The Rodriguez v. United States, (No. 13-9972) decision is a bit at odds with Illinois v. Caballes. The latter has been understood to allow a dog to sniff, if that sniff takes place during the traffic stop window of time. Under the Rodriguez decision, a sniff would be forbidden if it unnecessarily prolongs the traffic time.

In either instance, as in many others, it is the circumstances of the situation that dictate the possible outcomes. Until further lawsuits are filed, dog sniff and traffic stop law remains hazy. Something that was not dealt with in this case was whether or not there was reasonable suspicion of a further crime, which would have permitted law enforcement to detain the driver. Another issue in this cases that may warrent further examination is defining a dog sniff as a “search.”

Tags: drugs Supreme Court Supreme Court Justices United States

30

Jun 2015

Tue

comments are closed

Lakeland

112 E Poinsettia St Lakeland, FL, 33803

(863) 688-4606

Tampa

4107 N. Himes Ave #200 Tampa, FL, 33607

(813) 789-6404

Lutz

24140 FL-54 #101e Lutz, FL, 33559

(727) 457-8660

Testimonials

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

After my husbands DUI, I met with a couple of lawyers but NONE were as attentive as Thomas Grajek. Thomas was able to beat the DUI charge that I thought would be impossible. Not only did he save us money, he also helped put our lives back. I would recommend Mr. Grajek to anyone in our situation. Thsnkd Tom!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Excellent Attorney....called this attorney on a Saturday. He was quick to call me back and even gave me free advice as to how to handle the situation we were in. We ended up hiring him best decision we made. Would recommend this attorney to anyone.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Got a DUI a few months ago and got Toms name from a friend of mine.. I am more then satisfied with the way he handled my case and the way he kept me informed the whole time.. I got off on reckless with a with hold which i am more then happy to have on my record then a dui... He's a very down to earth guy and definitely trys to relate to where ur comin from.. I would with no doubt recommend Tom to friends and family... Thanks Tom ur the best!!!!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Great DUI Lawyer!! He got my DUI dropped to a reckless driving charge!! definitely went above and beyond for my case!!!He is very easily accessible and always promptly returned my phone calls/emails.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

I have just moved to the Tampa area. I was intoduced to Tom after being arrested for a DUI. Within minutes of being bonded out Tom came to my place of employment with all needed documents to "get the ball rolling". He always kept me informed on my case and when the time came for my hearing, I plead guilty to wreckless and had no fines and very little commuity service. Thomas Grajek is a great attorney and I feel he would be a valuable assett in anyone's defense.