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Supreme Court Says No Drug Dogs at The House Without Warrant

In the second Supreme Court case in a year to involve drug sniffing dogs, the Court held that the cops need a search warrant in order to bring drug dogs onto your porch. The Court went on to say that not just inside the house, but the “curtilage” of the home should be free from law enforcement searches without a warrant. Curtilage is anything connected to the home or closing associated with the home like the porch or garage areas.

The ruling came after Miami-Dade police and Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration started watching a home where they suspected illegal activity. Officers walked upon the porch of the home with a drug sniffing dog and the dog alerted to tell officers it suspected drugs nearby. Based on the dog’s alert, officers got a search warrant and entered the home to find an elaborate marijuana grow and arrested the home’s occupant.

The suspect hired a lawyer who brought a motion to suppress evidence based upon an illegal search. The judge agreed and kept the illegally seized evidence out of the case. Ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the trial court and said no drug dogs in or around a home without a warrant.

If you have questions about search warrants, drug arrests or any other criminal defense case, call me, Jeffrey S. Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at: or visit my websites or