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Florida v. Jardines (Amicus Brief)

November 4th, 2012

Please let this letter serve as an Amicus Brief in the case of Florida v. Jardines.  The question before the court today is whether or not the use of drug-sniffing dogs without a warrant is constitutional.  Joelis Jardines was suspected of growing marijuana inside of his house.  When police brought a drug-detecting dog, it signaled that marijuana was present inside the residence.  With this as their largest piece of evidence constituting “probable cause,” the police obtained a search warrant.  Upon search of Jardines’ residence, marijuana was found and he was arrested.
To determine if this was done in a constitutional manner, the Court must look at the process the Florida police department used in order of obtaining the warrant.  With not enough evidence to constitute probable cause, the Florida P.D. employed the use of a drug-dog to determine if drugs were present inside the residence.  This Court held that in the case of Kyllo v. United States that “the use of sense-enhancing technology to obtain information about the inside of one’s home that could not otherwise be obtained without physical intrusion is a Fourth Amendment search.”  The use of drug-detecting canines is exactly the same as the use of “sense-enhancing technology.”  Evidence was gained that would not have otherwise been found without a physical intrusion.  This means that the canine was a “Fourth Amendment search” and was done so without a warrant.  This is a direct violation of Jardines’ constitutional rights as a United States citizen.  As a friend of the Court, we believe that a search warrant should first be obtained before the use of drug-sniffing canines is allowed.  Therefore, we would ask that the Court rule in favor of Jardines.