The case of Rodriguez vs. the United States was a landmark drug crimes case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2015. In the case of Rodriguez vs. the United States, the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of how long an officer can delay a motorist stopped for a traffic violation so that the officer can call in a canine to search the motorist's car for drugs. Defending Drug Crimes In the Rodriguez case, the police officer called for a police dog to come and search Mr. Rodriguez's car about seven minutes after the ticket for Mr. Rodriguez was written by the police officer. Justice Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court stated: "Absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution's shield against unreasonable seizures." Five other Supreme Court justices agreed with Justice Ginsburg and only three Supreme Court Justices disagreed with her.
In the Rodriguez case, a Nebraska police officer saw the vehicle being driven by Mr. Rodriguez veer onto the shoulder of the highway around midnight. The police officer stopped the vehicle for veering onto the shoulder of the highway and ran the background of booth Mr. Rodriguez and the passenger in his vehicle. Both the United States government and Mr. Rodriguez agreed that the initial stop by the police office of Mr. Rodriguez was a legitimate stop. The Officer gave Mr. Rodriguez a written warning for his driving violation.
The issue that arises as a result of the Rodriguez decision is how it will affect the state of the law in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Drug Crimes Lawyers Since it is the United States Supreme Court that made this decision, its decision is legally binding on the Pennsylvania Courts. Accordingly, the law in Pennsylvania now continues to be that the police must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity if they wish to turn a regular traffic stop into a detention of the motorist.