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Can Cops In Your State Conduct A Warrantless Search Of Your Cell Phone?

June 16, 2011 by  

Can Cops In Your State Conduct A Warrantless Search Of Your Cell Phone?

Police officers across the United States are testing the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment, routinely conducting warrantless searches of arrestees’ cell phones. Despite public outcry against it, many State courts are upholding the practice.

For example, CNN reported that in January, the California Supreme Court decided it is legal for officers to search the cell phones of arrested persons for incriminating evidence, without court approval. Similar decisions have been recently made by courts in Florida and Georgia. However, the Ohio Supreme Court barred warrantless cell phone searches.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil rights advocacy group, is fighting the California decision, and has filed an amicus brief in the Oregon case of James Tyler Nix.

“Forty minutes after the arrest, without a warrant, an investigator fished through the suspect’s cell phone looking for evidence related to his alleged crime. Law enforcement officials claim they didn’t need a warrant because the search was ‘incident to arrest’ — an exception to the warrant requirement intended to allow officers to perform a search for weapons or to prevent evidence from being destroyed in exigent circumstances,” the article read.

“This is an empty excuse from the police — the suspect was in custody and unable to destroy evidence on his cell phone,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann told CNN.

The article claimed police are often taking the initiative to conduct warrantless cell phone searches, leaving the legality of the practice to be later upheld or overturned by appellate courts.

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  • Cawmun Cents

    Lady Justice Has Been Raped
    Truth Assassin
    Rolls of Red Tape Seal Your Lips
    Now You’re Done in
    Their Money Tips Her Scales Again
    Make Your Deal
    Just What Is Truth? I Cannot Tell
    Cannot Feel

    The Ultimate in Vanity
    Exploiting Their Supremacy
    I Can’t Believe the Things You Say
    I Can’t Believe
    I Can’t Believe the Price We Pay
    Nothing Can Save Us

    Justice Is Lost
    Justice Is Raped
    Justice Is Gone
    Pulling Your Strings
    Justice Is Done
    Seeking No Truth
    Winning Is All
    Find it So Grim
    So True
    So Real
    Or so the wise man once stated.

  • Budo

    @ Cawmun -I remember those lyrics, and I don’t believe they have ever been more true. We are living through old Metallica songs these days. Americans need to take a look at everything that’s going on in our country. If you can’t see the light by now, then you never will. Either bend over and grab your ankles or stand up and fight to get OUR country back.

    • Cawmun Cents

      They just dont write them like they used to.Lyrical content is seldom observed unless it pertains to pop music…which sucks for lyrical content.-CC.

  • eddie47d

    Phone calls contain personal information or conversations. Phone records will be there long after a crime has been committed so there is no need for any warrantless searches. These police state abuses need to be stopped .

    • Cawmun Cents

      Its not about the knowledge,eddie47d.Its about the subjugation of the populace.Get used to it.It will not go away soon.-CC.

  • Bert Cundle

    Condensed Criminal Code: GOTCHYA!!!

  • Raggs

    The brown shirts are here!

    What the hell is next? a brain scan that could show a persons thoughts of commiting a crime in advance?
    The black panthers ( with billy clubs ) at every entrance of a strip mall?
    Oh come on people how long are we going to just sit here and let this kind of crap happen without repercussions? The longer we continue to do nothing the worse this is going to get.

    • Bert Cundle

      We Should…

    • CanCan

      Unfortunately, Raggs, you are hitting that bulls eye in the dark, in that the DHS is phasing brain scanning of people in malls, grocery stores, and sports stadiums, to check for “malintent”. That is, pre-crime straight of the movie “Minority Report”. “Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programme designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an undisclosed location in the northeast,” reports Nature.com. The system works by using a computer program that studies physiological indicators of a person, such as heart rate and the steadiness of a person’s gaze, and then uses the data to make a judgment on whether that individual has “malintent”. So now all one needs to be guilty of something are shifty eyes and sweaty palms. And that is all before the genital groping, courtesy of the TSA.

  • Bert Cundle

    Home land Security has the athority, to intercept anything that can be percieved to be a threat to government or public! Our savings account, may be a threat… to the economy!

  • Dan az

    To late Burt they all ready did that by way of depreciation.Just another nail in our coffin.Can we all say thank you Obummer we all feel safer now.The patriot act is just another word for police state.I would feel safer in Germany.

    • Bert Cundle

      That was All the Bush Rajeme… O,O… Can’t & Won’t stop it, beacuse he is on the other side!

      • independant thinker

        No Bert it was not all Bush. While he approved it there had to be a lot of democrat support for the un-patriot act to pass.

  • Harry Pool

    I certainly consider it reasonable for the police to take a cell phone away from an arrestee as well as anything else the arrestee has on his person that they believe might be dangerous. As for then turning the cell phone on (or leaving it on) and examining what’s stored on the phone, I could care less. I expect that in most cases, there’d be little or no info of value, and the cops would have wasted their time.

    For the record, if I’m arrested and I’m carrying a cell phone, the cops can examine it to their hearts’ content. They can even call anyone whose number is stored in my phone, though I would not appreciate it if they told the person taking the call that I was under arrest for rape or child molestation — particularly if I wasn’t!

    • independent thinker

      While I have nothing on my phone I wouldn’t want the police to access I still object to the idea of warrentless searches of my phone.

    • joe

      Baaa! Baaa! (sheep). So, would you mind if I swing by your place to take a look around, maybe rummage through your drawers and such? Afteer all, if you’ve got nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind the intrusion, right?

  • Dan az

    Where are we going and how are going to get there.If you really want the answers check out this site,trust me it will take days to go through but it is well worth the read.

    http://www.commieblaster.com/nwo-cfr-bilderberg/index.html
    I hope all of you at least bookmark this site and read it when you have time, you will not regret it.

    • Libertarian

      Dan,
      this whole site is a incredible!
      thank you for attaching this link.
      Time for Sheeple to wake up!

  • mtgalinct

    I don’t use my cell phone and only have it because my husband insists that I do. How did we ever survive without them?! I’ll bet we could if we had to . . . and another consideration in light of this article. Face it, privacy is gone. Now the FBI can go through your trash with no real reason. Maybe the surge in shredder sales will jump start the economy. LOL

  • Crystal

    They’d be bored to death if they went through my cell phone.

    • Harry Pool

      If that were literally true, Crystal, the families of the deceased police officers might have a strong claim for damages. An even stronger claim, if you, knowing how boring your cell phone is, didn’t warn them of the expected consequences of going through it.

    • James

      What ever happened to Innocent until PROVED guilty? It is another loss of due process. The government takes away a small right here, a small freedom there and soon there is none left.
      We here in America are living some wear between The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and WWII Germany!!!
      Every right, every freedom lost takes the US one step closer to the end!!!

      • Bert Cundle

        I Don’t have any Problem with The Civil inforcement & Investigations… BUT: The CRIMINAL SYSTEM Inforcement & Investigstions, is Just THAT! (CRIMINAL)

      • Spray

        No…. I say it takes us back to the beginning…. Kinda like “Rebooting”…. remember what started the 1st revolution from Britain?…. It will happen again…

  • Frank Zappa

    F—-KING COPS, they violate your rights then they cry when “One of Theirs” takes a bullet and dies. Put the uniform on become a target is the way I see it, I have no pity for those who are cops and further I have less pity for those who ABUSE their authority as a cop which happens quite often. They are PIMPS WITH GUNS AND BADGES, REVENUE COLLECTORS FOR LOCAL CITY’S AND GOVERNMENT. WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GET IT….WHEN A COUNTRY HAS AN INCARCERATION RATE THIS COUNTRY HAS THEN THERE IS SOMETHING DRASTICALLY WRONG….WAS IT ALWAYS THIS BAD? NO NOT WHEN I WAS A KID. WHEN I WAS YOUNG COPS HAD SOME RESPECT NOW THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE. THE LOCAL COP THESE DAYS ARE A$$HOLES, AND HAVE NO RESPECT FOR PEOPLE THEY DEAL WITH THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE DOING “JUSTICE” “UPHOLDING DA LAW” WHEN IN FACT THEY ARE VIOLATING YOUR RIGHTS. THEY ALSO BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY “BULLSHIFT.” THE MORNING BRIEFING ENTAILS WHATS BEEN HAPPENING IN THE COMMUNITY THEN THE MESSAGE IS “GO BOND WITH THE CITIZENS.” WELCOME TO THE POLICE STATE AMERICA…IF YOU FAIL TO FIGHT NOW IT’S OVER.

  • i41

    Don’t whine it was the idiots that voted for the dems who believe government has control of every one and everything. It has been set up when some arrested, lose their privacy. Onumnutts and his justice department thinks they are going to show they can stop drugs sales, unless they are government and color approved. Warrantless searches and unimpeded bank or any private information security has evaporated, all thanks to the marxist/communist democrat party and the muslim moron who is following his idiol Karl Marx mandates.

  • dan

    If they can search your private property and papers and they plant evidence there…it’s your word against their word and who do you think is going to be believed and who is going to jail ?
    Been there, done that….drug wars my a$$

    • Cawmun Cents

      Had a neighbor that was a meth dealer.He had $50,000,and three pounds of meth when he was raided.In court he was alledged to have had 1 pound of meth and $15,000 dollars.I wondered where the rest of the money and contraband went?He took a three year rap over it.When I asked him why he hadnt inquired of his attorney where the bulk of his proper content had gone,he said that he had,but was told to keep quiet about it or face more time.Bottom line is that a profit was made by someone.It occurs to me that this kind of thing perpetuates the drug war.But what do I know?Apparently very little…….

  • mary

    We just busted cops and border patrol for missing $ and etc. yes, corruption exists but we have to have someone do things while we work and live lives. Kids are not taught right or wrong now. Cheating is rampant. Our society is ripped apart by issues that shouldnt be issues. Sanctuary cities? Illegal already but how many blind eyes have allowed them to exist? Drugs? Those who never tried them are a minority. Violence? You either are a victim or the aggressor. Today’s kids are bullies and brutes who do things we didn’t even think of. Our society is falling apart and politics is just a publicly visible sign of it.

    • Ron McLaren

      @Mary,
      I think if you examine the root of all these problems, you will find that as a rule, they all started to get out of hand when we took God out of our schools. That followed by taking Him out of our country. The founding fathers never intended for there never to be an influence of righteous men leading our country. What we teach our children is the results of what happens in government. If we teach them morality and ethics, we get the same when grown. On the other hand, when allowed to do whatever they think best, we get bullies and brutes and violence who think that controlling the people is best for them. All it takes for evil to proliferate is for a good man to do nothing about it.

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