Illegal Search Of A Cellphone Violates Your Rights
Illegal Search Of A Cellphone Violates Your RightsOur cellphones are our lifelines these days. Think of how much personal information is stored on them. No longer just a convenient way to keep in touch, cellphones are a treasure trove of private information – and the police know that. If you are arrested, the police may want to search your cellphone for evidence, in much the same way that they’d search your home, vehicle, or computer. But is this legal? In a word, No.
The Supreme Court Ruling Protects Cellphone DataIn June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police need to have a warrant in order to search cell phones, in most cases. It was argued that cell phones should be treated the same as computers and are protected under the Fourth Amendment’s unreasonable search and seizure clause. An illegal search of a cellphone could uncover damaging evidence, but without a warrant for the search, there is a strong chance that such evidence may not be accepted by the court. This was an important ruling for privacy and private property rights, providing evidence that our country’s laws don’t always keep up with technology. Exceptions To The Warrant Requirement As is the case in many situations, there are exceptions to this rule. In the following situations, law enforcement officials do not have to obtain a warrant before searching a cellphone:
- The phone contains information that may protect people who are in immediate danger.
- Evidence on the phone may be destroyed if police must wait for a warrant.