Our United States Supreme Court has granted certiari in Florida v. Harris, No. 11-817, a drug-sniffing dog case, which was featured in this blog in Can Drug Dogs Sniff For Warrantless Searches Outside Vehicles in Florida when the Florida Supreme Court made Aldo, our champion drug sniffer, an international Dog celebrity fawned, sprawled and pawed over at the best dog parks and fire hydrants around the world.
|ALDO: WILL DRUGS RUIN HIS LIFE?|
The holding of the Florida Supreme Court to be reviewed and possibly unleashed by the U.S Supreme Court could help a Clearwater Drug Defense Lawyer win Motions to Suppress improperly obtained evidence in Court:
We hold the fact that a drug-detection dog has been trained
and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone, is not sufficient to demonstrate the reliability of the dog. To demonstrate that an officer has a reasonable basis for believing that an alert by a drug-detection dog is sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to search, the State must present evidence of the dog's training and certification records, an explanation of the meaning of the particular training and certification, field performance records (including any unverified alerts), and evidence concerning the experience and training of the officer handling the dog, as well as any other objective evidence known to the officer about the dog's reliability. The trial court must then assess the reliability of the dog's alert as a basis for probable cause to search the vehicle based on a totality of the circumstances. Because in this case the totality of the circumstances does not support a probable cause determination, the trial court should have granted the motion to suppress. We remand for proceedings consistent with this
opinion. See also brief from the Florida Attorney Generals office in Harris v. State.
Here's hoping that the dog biscuits a certain Pinellas Criminal Defense Attorney plans to send to the U.S. Supreme Court are enough to sway them toward affirming the Florida Supreme Court's decision.