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Supreme Court of the United States Scores One For Privacy Rights

“Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple—get a warrant.”

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that police officers may not search through the cell phone of a person upon making an arrest without a warrant. By a unanimous 9-0 decision, in Riley v. California, the Court held that smart phones, tablets, and other devices cannot be searched without a warrant. The Court stated that nowadays, individuals have an expectation of privacy with their smart devices, something that could not have possibly been conceived when the framers drafted the Constitution hundreds of years ago. The Court reasoned that modern cell phones “are not just another technological convenience,” because “they hold for many Americans the privacies of life.” To intrude into that privacy would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.

At LaMarche Safranko Law we will continue to stay educated on new developments in criminal law in order to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients.