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Trespassing Constitutes a Search Under Fourth Amendment

Thursday / October 17, 2013

In a previous post I looked at drug dogs and an officers ability to conduct a search based on the dog alerting to an illegal substance. Continuing in that vein, the Supreme Court of United States recently ruled on a case Florida v Jardines when police use that same method in sniffing a home. In the Jardines case, officers used a drug detection dog to sniff at the front door of the house we’re police suspected drugs were being grown. When the dog alerted, the officers arrested the individuals inside.
In its opinion, the Supreme Court held that the officers using a drug detection dog to sniff at the front door of the house constituted a search for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment. The  majority opinion of the court held that police would have had to trespass onto private property to conduct the search and that the Fourth Amendment would apply regardless of whether the officers trespassed because that type of search would invade someone’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Thus the fourth amendment is violated, an invalid search occurred in the evidence needs to be thrown out.
The search of one’s home is vastly different in the search of an automobile. Individuals have a greater expectation of privacy under the constitutions fourth amendment in a home and they do in an automobile. Therefore the use of a drug detection dog and a home is completely different than when an individual is out on a public road. This becomes especially important when officers have to trespassed to get onto the property surrounding home. If you feel that your constitutional right of been violated you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are loved one has been charged with a criminal offense please give me a call or 480-398-1498 or by visiting my website at

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