R. v. Chehil, 2013 CarswellNS 693
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal involving a search of a suspect by police using a drug-sniffing dog. The Court found that properly conducted sniff searches, based on reasonable suspicion, are compliant with the Charter. Such searches are minimally intrusive, narrowly targeted and highly accurate. The Court reiterated that any analysis must remain focused on whether the totality of the circumstances is sufficient to reach the threshold of reasonable suspicion. The Court reaffirmed that the standard for such searches is that of a “reasonable suspicion” and rejected the argument that the standard should be a higher one of “reasonable and probable grounds”. Once again, in the balancing of society’s interests in routine crime prevention against an individual’s interest in his or her privacy, the public interest wins out.
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