Court: Drug dogs can sniff outside home without search warrant
by The Associated Press Wednesday May 21, 2008, 3:16 PM Press File PhotoPolice dogs don't need a warrant.
LANSING -- The Michigan Court of Appeals says it's OK for police to use dogs to sniff the exterior of a house to detect drugs without a search warrant.
The 2-1 ruling released Wednesday is a setback for Jeffrey Jones of Detroit.
A Wayne County judge had suppressed evidence and dismissed marijuana possession charges against Jones because he argued the sniffing was an illegal search. Prosecutors appealed.
Two judges on the appeals court say police, acting on a tip, can go to someone's home with drug-detection dogs, sniff the front door and use that information to get a warrant to search inside the house.
I heard on NPR that one of the reasons the judges said it was legal is because your front porch is public property. Since when is my front porch public property? If the dog is sniffing something in my house then isn't that a search OF my house? Can't use thermal sensors to find grow lights in a house, but a dog is ok?
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