Looks like Cemetery got pulled over near Nashville and got his car searched. I’m guessing, just a guess here, that his crime was DWJ, or Driving While Jersey. It matches my experience that cops in the South are a hell of a lot nicer and more polite while they are crapping all over your rights than they are up here.
The cops were right though,Â that you don’t need a warrant to bring a dogÂ around the car,Â but the dog is just a front to get probable cause to do a search. The dog may have shown no objective interest, but had they found contraband, you can bet they would have testified the dog alerted, and would have pointed out to the court that it’s a highly trained dog. The dog could be about as good at finding dope as your neighbor’s Pekingese,Â but it’ll hold in court. It’s your word against theirs. Who do you think the judge or jury is going to believe?
Basically as long as the cops had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime was being committed, which would generally only take following your average driver a few miles, you have a legal stop. Once you have the dog on the car, you have the pretext for a search no matter what the dog actually does.Â Basically if the cops want to search your car, you’re not going to stop them. The key is not consenting to a search. If the dog comes out, roll with it, just make it clear you don’t consent to the search. Not much else you can do. The 4th Amendment has been dead letter for a long time. All searches are reasonable. Long live the War on Drugs.