I am not the only person who thinks that trained dogs working for the police is an infringement on people’s privacy rights.  To compound the problem, there are serious questions about the accuracy of what the dog finds.

Problem #1: Right to Privacy

There are problems with the accuracy of the dog sniff. During a recent challenge to a dog who found three pounds of cocaine in a SUV, records showed that the dog, Bono, a narcotics detection dog in Roanoke, Virginia, had only a 26% accuracy rate when he alerted on “drugs.”

The prosecutor in that case argued that the dog “alerted” on a site where drugs had been.  The problem is that a dog “alerting” in a location where drugs formerly were is not accurate in a constitutional sense (according to the Fourth Amendment, people have an expectation to privacy), even though that alert might be accurate to a dog.

Problem #2: False Positives

The problem with false positives is that they turn an average police investigation into a long, intrusive search of a car (to the point where the car can be seized and taken apart) because a dog smelled something that was present in a vehicle, sometimes months before.

Another problem is that the driver of the car could be detained for a lengthy period of time based on a false positive.

Part 2: Dog Searches, U.S. Supreme Court Style

If you have been stopped and subjected to a dog search of your vehicle, and charged, then feel free to contact Colorado criminal defense attorney Shaun Kaufman.  At Shaun Kaufman Law, we have handled many narcotic cases in Colorado where drug dogs were used and we know how to defend these cases.

Contact Shaun Kaufman Law by filling out the contact form on the right side of this page or call 303-309-0430

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