In this archive episode, Dennis explains through case laws how K-9 Sniffs establish probable cause. Recorded on 03/06/2018.

State of NJ v. Cancel 1992 (Non-Motor vehicle setting, establishes probable cause is the point)

We agree that the dog’s positive reaction to defendant’s suitcase and the discrepancy between her name and the name on her ticket gave the police probable cause to arrest her and obtain a warrant to search the suitcase.(Referring to a US Supreme Court Decision) See Florida v. Royer, *434 460 U.S. 491, 506, 103 S. Ct. 1319, 1329, 75 L. Ed. 2d 229, 242 (1983) (had police used dog to sniff defendant’s luggage “a positive result would have resulted in his justifiable arrest on probable cause”).

US v Nurse (D.C. Cir. 1990)

If the canine sniff results in a positive alert or indication that the particular piece of property contains contraband or evidence of a suspected crime, this trained Canine’s reaction elevates the reasonable suspicion to probable cause, and thus provides the necessary justification for the issuance of a search warrant or for a search under an applicable exception to the warrant requirement.

Illinois v Caballes (2005) US Supreme Court

As found by the trial judge prior to the appeal, the dog sniff was sufficiently reliable to establish probable cause to conduct a full blown search of the trunk.

United States v Pierce (2010)- The United States Supreme Court has consistently held “That an exterior canine sniff of a car during a lawful traffic stop does not amount to a search under the 4th Amendment. It is also well established that, looking at the totality of the circumstances, a dog’s positive alert while sniffing the exterior of the car provides an officer with probable cause.”

Florida v Harris 2013 US Supreme Court

The question—similar to every inquiry into probable cause—is whether all the facts surrounding a dog’s alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime. A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test… And here, Aldo’s did.

If a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting, a court can presume (subject to any conflicting evidence offered) that the dog’s alert provides probable cause to search. The same is true, even in the absence of formal certification, if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs. After all, law enforce­ment units have their own strong incentive to use effective training and certification programs, because only accurate drug-detection dogs enable officers to locate contraband without incurring unnecessary risks or wasting limited time and resources.