A Supreme Court cases with its roots on a state highway in Nebraska gave Suffolk County criminal attorneys the ammunition they needed to protect clients’ rights during traffic stops.
Denny Rodriguez was pulled over just after midnight. After a routine records check, he received a warning. Before Rodriguez could leave, the police ran a drug-sniffing dog around the vehicle. The dog reacted and the subsequent search found a large cache of meth.
Unless there is “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity or you give your permission for officer’s to search your vehicle, they can only go after what is in plain sight. Dogs also can be used during the traffic stop (think of it as being in “plain smell.”) However, in this case, the stop was completed before the dog did the sniff-search. In total, eight minutes elapsed between the issuance of the warning ticket and the dog’s reaction.
The court said this was eight minutes too long.
New York police and sheriffs can no longer hold you and your vehicle for a routine traffic stop beyond the time it takes to speak with you, run your records, and issue a ticket. Unless there is something in plain sight, a smell of drugs or a very efficient K-9 officer hits on the sniff-search, the police can’t engage in a fishing trip because they think you are up to something.
Your rights aren’t a function of where you live, where you were born, or how much money you have, according to Suffolk County criminal attorneys and the Constitution. All Americans have the right to be safe and in secure in their home and their vehicle. A traffic violation isn’t an invitation to the police to trample on that security. Experienced Suffolk County criminal attorneys can advise you if a traffic stop that resulted in your arrest was a violation of your rights as a citizen. Contact us at The Law Office of Matthew Tuohy for a consultation and discussion of your case. Don’t wait. The sooner you are represented by Suffolk county criminal attorneys, the better chance you have of protecting yourself in court.