Police Dog “Sniff Test” On Homes Illegal Without Warrant

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – K9 officers in the state of Florida can no longer do a “sniff test” by a drug-detection dog at the front door of a home without a warrant.

That’s the opinion handed down Thursday by Florida’s Supreme Court which claims using a drug dog outside of a suspected marijuana grow house without a warrant violates a Constitutional right to privacy inside the home.

The court released its 5-2 opinion on Thursday.

Police went to a Miami-Dade home in 2006 with a drug-sniffing dog after getting an unverified tip that marijuana was being grown inside. They later arrested the resident and seized marijuana plants and growing equipment.

The court’s majority said police should have gotten a warrant before showing up. Those justices said a drug dog’s sniff test at a private residence is a search under the Constitution. Dissenters said there’s no expectation of privacy regarding illegal substances in one’s home. The case is SC08-2101, Joelis Jardines v. State of Florida.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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