Drug dogs, traffic stops and your rights

Being charged with a drug crime in Illinois can trigger a long chain of negative events in your life that are never really settled. In many cases, it becomes apparent after further investigation that your rights may have been violated, and you should not be prosecuted for the alleged drug possession or related charge. We at Ryan & Ryan, Attorneys at Law, have often provided successful defense for people facing the consequences of a misdemeanor or felony drug charge.

When you are in your vehicle and are pulled over for a potential traffic violation by a law enforcement officer, any signs that prompt him or her to have reasonable suspicion that you are carrying illegal substances may result in a drug dog sniff. The New York Times reports that there is a limit to this, though. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an officer may even perform a drug dog sniff during the stop without necessarily needing to provide proof of reasonable suspicion, but once the reason for the stop has been completed, you should not be detained further so that the officer has a chance to call in a canine unit.

If an officer does tell you that you may not leave after you have been given a citation or warning, it is possible that your Fourth Amendment rights are being violated, regardless of whether a drug dog sniff reveals the presence of an illegal substance in your vehicle. More information about illegal searches and seizures and your rights is available on our web page.