No Drug Sniffing Dogs

Florida v. Jardines and the 4th Amendment

No Drug Sniffing Dogs Outside a Home Without Warrant

By: Joseph L. Giacalone

With all of the fanfare going on outside the U.S. Supreme Court about Proposition 8 and Gay Marriage, a decision was made on a case significant for police officers everywhere. In a 5-4 decision this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the use of a trained police dog outside of the home constituted a search. Therefore, the evidence that was ultimately recovered will be excluded as per the Fourth Amendment.

Based on this decision, the police will not be allowed to walk a drug sniffing dog on the outside of the home, in the hopes of getting a “hit” and then obtain a warrant. Hope is not a plan in law enforcement. Now, according to this decision, the police would need a warrant to use the dog. If they had probable cause to get a warrant to use a dog then they would have probable cause for the home already, no?

Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion and stated, “The government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a ‘search’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”

As always, when in doubt, fill it out!

Read the decision from SCOTUS