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Police Cannot Search Your Phone

Can police search my phone?

No, The Supreme Court of the United States has held that police cannot search your phone, at least not without having a warrant.

In the recent decision of Riley v California, the Supreme Court held that police cannot search a persons phone even after that person has been arrested.

If you believe the police illegally searched your phone and you were charged with a crime call criminal lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806.

Consent to search

If the police ask you if they can search your phone and you agree you will not be able to challenge the search later because you gave consent. 

What is a search incident to arrest

A search incident to arrest is a common way police search an individual and the area within the person’s immediate control once they have been arrested. A search incident to arrest typically includes a pat down. 

There are restrictions to a search incident to arrest. One common restriction is the Gant restriction and that is that police cannot search a car if the person arrested could not gain access to the vehicle during the time of search. However, if a police department policy calls for an inventory search after seizing a vehicle the police might still be able to search the car, but only within the parameters of the department policy and there may still be a challenge for the policy being overly broad.

This new exception puts a restriction on the search incident to arrest. If police discovery a phone during a search incident to arrest they must obtain a warrant in order to search the phones contents. Failure to comply with this rule will result in suppression of the information they obtain.

However, the physical aspects of the phone can be searched to determine that it cannot be used as a weapon or is not concealing a weapon such as a razor blade.

My favorite quote from the Supreme Court in this case was this: Our answer to the question of what police need to do before searching a cell phone seized incident to arrest is accordingly simple – get a warrant.

What happens in the police illegally searched my phone?

If the police illegally searched you, or illegally searched your phone and that search led to evidence that resulted in you being charged with a crime the evidence must be suppressed.

Anytime the police use illegal means to obtain evidence the evidence must be suppressed, meaning it will not be allowed for the prosecution to be used against you and may result in a dismissal.

Michigan Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges contact Michigan criminal defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806. We fight for our clients and we protect their rights. Hire someone that keeps up with the law and knows how to defend you from illegal police activity – hire Aaron J. Boria.