Court Restricts Police Searches of Phone Data
Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered that law enforcement agencies will now have to obtain a search warrant before obtaining tracking information from cell phone providers. The ruling involved a case that began with a string of burglaries in homes in New Jersey. A court ordered the tracing of a cell phone that had been stolen from one of the homes and located a suspect. Further cell phone tracing and data obtained from a cellular phone provider by the police led to the location where the defendant was ultimately found with stolen goods from the burglaries.
This decision has implications for everyone that possesses a cell phone. A national survey focusing on law enforcement practice revealed that cell phone tracking was routine and typically done without any court oversight or public awareness. The Supreme Court of New Jersey reasoned that people who have entered cell phone contracts “can reasonably expect that their person information will remain private.” The Court’s decision is a strong reminder that Federal and State Constitutional standards entitle citizens be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. As technology evolves, the courts and law enforcement must adapt.
All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution. An experienced criminal defense attorney helps to ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected before, during and after a trial. If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. For a confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.