John Moeller, Attorney at Law

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Extend a Traffic Stop – Drug Dog Sniff

Police are trained to extend or expand a routine traffic stop into a search for drugs or other criminal activities. Expect the question, “Are you carrying any drugs or large amounts of currency?” during a traffic stop. If you answer “No”, the officer will ask “Do you mind if I search?”. When you refuse, the officer might threaten to detain you until a drug dog comes to sniff your car. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Rodriguez v. U.S., 135 S.Ct. 1609 in April, 2015 that officers may not prolong the traffic stop beyond the time needed for the officer to complete the usual license, registration, insurance and warning or ticket issued unless there is reasonable suspicion of another crime to extend the traffic stop. Cooperate with the officer to provide your license, registration and insurance, sign the ticket and leave. Don’t play twenty questions with the officer.

Consent to Warrantless Search by Person on Parole.

The Iowa Supreme Court held in State v. Baldon, 829 N.W.2d 785 (2013) that a parole agreement term that Baldon would submit to search at any time without a search warrant or reasonable cause by any parole officer or law enforcement officer is not a voluntary consent by Iowa law and such consent by itself cannot be the basis for a warrantless search.

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