When a drug dog alerted during a sniff test the officers found drugs the dog was not trained to detect the defendant sought to challenge the dog’s record in the field for false alerts. The defendant in Florida v. Harris was stopped and on 2 separate occasions and his vehicle was searched on both occasions as a result of a sniff test by the same dog. The initial search revealed ingredients used in manufacturing methamphetamines. The second search occurred while defendant was out on bail for the arrest during the first stop. The second search revealed no drugs. The United States Supreme Court heard the case and held that a defendant is entitled to challenge the evidence relating to a drug dog’s reliability. The defendant may challenge the dog’s reliability with his or her own witness, by cross-examination of testifying handler or both. Challenges may go to the dog’s training or actual field results. If you have been charged with a drug related crime in New Jersey, you should obtain experienced defense counsel immediately to insure your rights are protected any search and seizure was proper. Experienced counsel can challenged the State’s probable cause for the stop as well as any search which resulted in the prosecution’s finding of evidence. For more information on drug charges, controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in a motor vehicle or criminal law or municipal court matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.

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