Bainbridge Island, WA asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Washington

Q: Is a k9 sniff probable cause to seize a vehicle, from Wal-Mart parking lot?

While customers are shopping inside Poulsbo Wal-Mart, an office is outside looking in the windows of parked cars. If he feels necessary he brings his K9 out to sniff. If his K9 "hits" he has the vehicle taken to police station, then applies for warrant.

1 Lawyer Answer
Patrick Owen Earl
Patrick Owen Earl
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Moses Lake, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Officers can look into cars and if they see something in plain sight that is suspicious they have the ability to investigate. So I haven't researched this issue but it is one looks on its surface that it is fine but I would be interested in what the case law says about it. However, you will need to hire an attorney to research this out for you, or just hire the attorney to represent you if you are charged with a crime. Good Luck

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