Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant
The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cell phones of people they arrest after having reviewed two separate cases. Traditionally, the courts have long allowed warrantless searches in connection with arrests, saying they are justified by the need to protect police officers and to prevent the destruction of evidence.
However, in the digital age, the court noted the vast amount of data contained on modern cellphones must be protected from routine inspection. Specifically, “Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience.” The court went on to note that cell phones “could just as easily be called cameras, video players, Rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers,” For that reason, the Chief Justice said the court would not allow police officers who make an arrest to routinely seize and inspect information contained in a suspect’s cellphone or smartphone.
All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution and the rules of evidence in a criminal court of law. 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 email@example.com.