Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cops can't search cell phones without a warrant

Cops can’t search cell phones without a warrant

The Supreme Court of the United States handed down another pro-accused ruling recently that further protects the rights of people when they encounter police.

In Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, 573 US ___ (2014), the SCOTUS said cops can no longer search the data of a cell phone without a warrant.

This means that cops can no longer grab the cell phone of someone they’ve stopped and look through that cell phone for evidence. They also can’t make you show it to them.

Cops like to do this when they stop someone and accuse that person of possessing or selling drugs.

The SCOTUS said cops can only examine the physicality of the cell phone to make sure it is not a weapon and, once determining that it’s not a weapon, they are not allowed to go further.

Cops are not allowed to search the data on a cell phone because the data is not a danger to anyone.

The court said bluntly that there is a substantial privacy interest at stake when digital data is at issue because people today use their cell phones as personal data centers for their daily lives.

So, make sure your cell phone is locked at all times. Make sure if a cop challenges you and grabs your cell phone that you do not unlock it for him, nor give him permission to see the data. Make him get a warrant.

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