Sunday, October 5, 2014

Police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest

Recently, someone told me that it didn’t seem fair that police can demand you to hand over your cell phone during a routine traffic stop. I told him that I just heard there was a ruling that it was not allowed. He told me to look into it and put it on the blog. 

After a very short search, here’s what I found

In June 2014, the Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant.
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.
But Chief Justice Roberts said neither justification made much sense in the context of cellphones. While the police may examine a cellphone to see if it contains, say, a razor blade, he wrote, “once an officer has secured a phone and eliminated any potential physical threats, however, data on the phone can endanger no one.”
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