This issue was addressed by the New Jersey Supreme Court in State v. Dunbar, In particular, the Court was asked to determine whether they need reasonable suspicion of a drug crime to conduct a canine sniff during a motor vehicle stop.
In Dunbar, the defendant was stopped for illegally parking in a handicap spot, during which one of the passengers was arrested. The police then conducted a canine sniff, resulting in the recovery of narcotics and arrested Dunbar as well.
The Supreme Court held that canine sniffs can be conducted without reasonable suspicion, only if the sniff does not unreasonably prolong the traffic stop longer than would be normally necessary for reason for the underlying stop. Essentially, if the police stop a vehicle for speeding and are going to write a ticket, they cant make the driver wait for a dog to arrive on the scene, longer than needed to write a write a ticket and any activities associated with that.
There are various arguments and defenses an attorney can make on your behalf if you are stopped and arrested. If you, a family member or friend is arrested, call my office for a free consultation. I'll explain the charges and how I can help.
All the Best!
RANDY C. REDDEN