Although authorities are required to have a warrant to search your home in Kalamazoo, the same rules do not apply to cars. If you are stopped, authorities only need to have probable cause to search your automobile. Probable cause does not mean that the officer just suspects illegal activity for no reason; he or she must first see or smell something that is real. In some instances, a k-9 unit may be called out to sniff around the car for the presence of drugs. This is typically in the right of the authority to do so as long as it does not take beyond a reasonable amount of time to get the dog to the traffic stop's location.
Three men were arrested recently after a k-9 unit alerted on their vehicle. Authorities searched the trunk of the car where they reportedly found 6.4 pounds of marijuana.
The men were initially stopped for speeding in Arizona. The 28-year-old driver was from Michigan and was driving a rental car that was issued to another Michigan woman who was not riding in the car. The officer became suspicious when the man became nervous and started shaking. He called for a k-9 unit to come and do a sniff search outside of the vehicle.
After the marijuana was found, the three were arrested and taken to a detention center. They face charges for transportation of marijuana for sale and drug possession. In addition, because the driver allegedly gave authorities his brother's driver's license, he faces charges of offering an instrument with false information and identity theft.
Because of the stiff consequences they may be facing if convicted, these men would be well advised to speak with a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court.
Source: The Bugle, "YCSO charges three with marijuana trafficking," July 25, 2013