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Illinois v. Caballes

Supreme Court of the United States

November 10, 2004, Argued ; January 24, 2005, Decided

No. 03-923

Opinion

 [*406]  [**836]   Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

Illinois State Trooper Daniel Gillette stopped respondent for speeding on an interstate highway. When Gillette radioed the police dispatcher to report the stop, a second trooper, Craig Graham, a member of the Illinois State Police Drug  [***846]  Interdiction Team, overheard the transmission and immediately [****3]  headed for the scene with his narcotics-detection dog. When they arrived, respondent's car was on the shoulder of the road and respondent was in Gillette's vehicle. While Gillette was in the process of writing a warning ticket, Graham walked his dog around respondent's car. The dog alerted at the trunk. Based on that alert, the officers searched the trunk, found marijuana, and arrested respondent. The entire incident lasted less than 10 minutes.

 [*407]  Respondent was convicted of a narcotics offense and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and a $256,136 fine. The trial judge denied his motion to suppress the seized evidence and to quash his arrest. He held that the officers had not unnecessarily prolonged the stop and that the dog alert was sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to conduct the search. Although the Appellate Court affirmed, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed, concluding that because the canine sniff was performed without any "'specific and articulable facts'" to suggest drug activity, the use of the dog "unjustifiably  [**837] enlarg[ed] the scope of a routine traffic stop into a drug investigation."  207 Ill. 2d 504, 510, 802 N.E.2d 202, 205, 280 Ill. Dec. 277 (2003).

The question [****4]  on which we granted certiorari,  541 U.S. 972, 159 L. Ed. 2d 84, 124 S. Ct. 2219 (2004), is narrow: "Whether the Fourth Amendment requires reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify using a drug-detection dog to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop." Pet. for Cert. i. Thus, we proceed on the assumption that the officer conducting the dog sniff had no information about respondent except that he had been stopped for speeding; accordingly, we have omitted any reference to facts about respondent that might have triggered a modicum of suspicion.

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543 U.S. 405 *; 125 S. Ct. 834 **; 160 L. Ed. 2d 842 ***; 2005 U.S. LEXIS 769 ****; 73 U.S.L.W. 4111; 18 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 100

ILLINOIS, Petitioner v. ROY I. CABALLES

Prior History:  [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS.

 People v. Caballes, 207 Ill. 2d 504, 802 N.E.2d 202, 2003 Ill. LEXIS 2280, 280 Ill. Dec. 277 (2003)

Disposition: Vacated and remanded.

CORE TERMS

dog, sniff, dog sniff, contraband, the Fourth Amendment, traffic stop, trained, canine, alert, detection, seizure, privacy, narcotics, intrusion, searches, trunk, checkpoint, speed, explosives, marijuana, suspicion, traffic, drugs, probable cause, sui generis, drug-detection, detention, Detector, details, arrest

Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Search & Seizure, Probable Cause, Criminal Law & Procedure, Seizure of Persons, Scope of Protection, Expectation of Privacy, Warrantless Searches, Dog Sniff Searches