Many felony drug arrests in Arizona are the result of a K9 unit alerting police to potential drugs in a vehicle. The police may use a drug dog to search your car in Arizona when you are pulled over for an unrelated traffic violation if they suspect you may have drugs in your car, or they may use drug dogs routinely at certain checkpoints throughout the state. Many of these arrests are related to marijuana or drug paraphernalia, but our Phoenix criminal lawyers also see a number of arrests for methamphetamine or cocaine and, to a lesser degree, crack-cocaine or heroin.
Drug Dogs and Car Searches in Arizona
K9 units are trained to sniff out drugs on a reward-based system, meaning that the dogs associate alerting their handlers to drugs with receiving a reward or a treat. Dogs may be trained to alert handlers in a variety of ways, including actively pawing the ground or even sitting down. If the drug dog shows this alert behavior, then the officers have probable cause to search your vehicle.
Unfortunately, these K9 units do make mistakes sometimes. If the dog is tired, improperly handled, or improperly trained, then the results may be unreliable.
Why You Should Seek Help After a Drug Dog Arrest in Arizona
Because drug dogs may not be reliable or properly trained, it’s worth having a professional investigate your case. If there is concern that the officers did not have appropriate cause to search your car because of a poorly trained or overworked dog, then the evidence found in that search may not be permissible in court.
If you have been arrested in Arizona after a drug dog alerted police, it’s important that you seek the help of a professional as soon as possible. Our Phoenix criminal lawyers can investigate your case, defend your rights, and focus on building a strong case in your defense. Speak with us today at 1-888-929-5292 to schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation with a skilled Phoenix drug lawyer, and don’t forget to also request a copy of our important book Arizona Criminal Law – What You Must Know.