Inmate hands cuffed behind backThis is the next post in our discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Rodriguez v. United States. Our last article looked at when Arkansas residents must allow themselves to be searched by the police. This article will look at how those with prior drug convictions may be able to go back and challenge their case under Rodriguez. If you have previously been convicted of drug-related crimes in Arkansas, and your arrest involved a drug sniffing dog, then contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Arkansas defendants with drug convictions may be eligible for post-conviction relief under Rodriguez

We spoke previously on how the Rodriguez decision will limit the use of drug sniffing dogs going forward. The decision, however, also gives new rights to many previously convicted of drug related crimes in Arkansas. Under post-conviction relief, a defendant who has been previously convicted of a crime may subsequently challenge the conviction after the law has changed. The act of detaining someone, while waiting for a drug sniffing dog, has been relatively common prior to the Rodriguez decision. Anyone convicted under such facts may be eligible to challenge their conviction due to a change in the law.

It is important to understand that one’s prior conviction will not be overturned simply because their case involved a drug sniffing dog. It will be necessary to show that the officer detained a person longer than necessary in order to have a dog sniff the perimeter of their vehicle. If the dog was utilized within the amount of time it would have taken to conduct the stop anyway then the defendant will likely be ineligible for relief.

It is crucial that you speak with an attorney to find out if you can challenge your prior drug conviction. Challenging the arrest can lead to a clearing of criminal record. This can mean an easier experience when it is time to apply for a job or perform another task which requires a background check.

Little Rock attorneys assisting Arkansas residents with post conviction relief

Our Little Rock criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience in state and federal criminal appeals. They are familiar with the post-conviction process and will work to quickly file your petition. Arkansas residents will only have a limited amount of time to apply for such relief so it is imperative that they contact an attorney today.