We use both our own and third-party cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. If you continue to browse, we consider that you accept the use of these.

Prolonged Detention

The U.S. Supreme Court last week addressed whether an otherwise completed traffic stop is unreasonable when prolonged for a dog sniff. Rodriguez v. U.S. (2015) 135 S.Ct. 1609, addressed whether a dog sniff conducted after completion of a routine traffic stop, without reasonable suspicion, violated the 4th Amendment and found that it did.


A K-9 officer testified that he saw Rodriguez’ car swerve onto the shoulder of the road briefly. The officer testified that he stopped defendant because this was a traffic violation. The officer approached the car. Defendant was driving and had a passenger. The officer got license, reg, and proof of insurance. He also collected the passenger’s information. The officer returned to his car to run a records check on Rodriguez and the passenger. When he returned to the car, he asked Rodriguez to come back to his police car. When Rodriguez was told he didn’t have to exit the vehicle and go to the officer’s car, he didn’t. The officer wrote a warning.

The officer again went to the car. He explained the warning to Rodriguez and returned both individual’s documents. At that point, the officer testified that all of the business was taken care of. The officer testified that he did not consider Rodriguez free to leave. The officer requested consent to have his dog “walk around” the defendant’s car. Rodriguez refused. The officer then ordered Rodriguez to turn off his car and get out.

A fill officer arrived and the officer walked his dog around the car. The dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. Seven to eight minutes passed from the time of the citation until the dog hit on the car.

Officers found methamphetamine in the vehicle. The defendant moved to suppress the evidence as the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the dog search.


The Supreme Court took the case to decide whether police may extend a completed traffic stop, without reasonable suspicion, to conduct a dog search.


The Court reiterated that a car stop is analogous to a pedestrian stop. The stop can last no longer than is necessary to address the traffic violation. Anything longer than that is a problem.

Running Raps, clearing up checks regarding the suspect, is lawful. The officer, however, may not extend the stop absent reasonable suspicion. The Court drew a distinction between the stop and the dog sniff. The dog sniff is not related to roadway safety and is not part of the car stop. The Court made clear that the inquiry is not when the dog sniff happen, but rather whether the investigation unlawfully extends the stop.

The court made clear that the officers may prolong a stop when they have reasonable suspicion to detain. The court did say, however, there may be cases when the suspect may be detained when officers have reasonable suspicion to detain.


  • Your instructional style is engaging and your tag-team style is highly effective.

    —George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator
  • I will continue to use and pass on this information because I really believe in the instructors and their approach.

    —Kimberly Meyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Department
  • I highly recommend this training for any Probation staff who have the necessity to interview/interrogate individuals for investigation purposes.

    —R. Bret Fidler, Santa Clara County Probation Department
  • Your class has made the greatest and most direct impact on my assignment of any training class that I've taken.

    —Ken Gelskey, National City Police Department
  • This was, by far, one of the most useful classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.

    —Steven Aiello, Antioch Police Department
  • Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to attend the Interview and Interrogation training presented by Paul Francois and Enrique Garcia.

    —Todd Almason, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
  • ...Provides useful tools necessary for assessing the veracity of a suspected child abuser, which goes a long way in helping to protect children.

    —Sunny Burgan, MSSW, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor, Santa Clara County DFCS
  • The information that they have presented is highly relevant to my job, and was presented in a manner that was highly organized and very easy to digest.

    —Michael McGarvey, California State Prison, San Quentin
  • You two are an effective teaching team, and your presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.

    —Michele Keller, Deputy Probation Officer, County of Alameda
  • Your class gave me the confidence and tools to interview the suspect for over 5 hours and to bring a closure to the case.

    —Daniel Phelan, San Jose Police Department