Smartphone Searches: Do the Police Require a Warrant?
When a police officer asks to search you, you may be aware of some of your basic rights but you might be curious about the privacy level of cell phone information. A recent Supreme Court ruling identified that the police must have a warrant before searching data inside a smartphone, because such data could contain a great deal of private information.
Since a smartphone could be used to reconstruct a person’s specific movements down to the minute and provide a great deal of information about their search history and open browser tabs, the Supreme Court has ruled that a warrant must be obtained. A cell phone goes beyond a simple collection of phone numbers and a record of your previous calls. Because typical smartphones today are actually mini-computers; they have a great deal of personal financial information stored on them.
Chief Justice Roberts indicated that a warrant is necessary before the police attempt to search a cell phone that is seized during the process of an arrest. If you believe that your rights were violated in any situation after you have been arrested, it is important that you share these concerns with your experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Your initial consultation with an attorney will likely involve the lawyer asking you a series of questions. It is your lawyer’s goal to identify any situations that could lead to the dismissal of your case or the exclusion of particular evidence. If the police improperly collected materials or violated your rights at any time during the arrest, this is a golden opportunity for you to pursue this as a primary reason for fighting the case. Your lawyer can use this in conjunction with other materials to help you reduce the potential penalties in your case or to achieve a dismissal.
Need help from a NJ criminal defense lawyer with a reputation for fighting hard on behalf of clients? If so, you need the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty. Get help today by calling 609.385.4010 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.