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What the Supreme Court ruling on cell phone searches means

Aug 1, 2014 |

The Supreme Court recently ruled that police offers must obtain a warrant before searching a criminal suspect’s cell phone upon arrest. This unanimous ruling is a sweeping endorsement for individuals’ privacy rights.

Writing on behalf of the court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. compared the protection to digital information on cell phones to the American Revolution serving partially to protect homeowners from British officers going through their belongings looking for criminal evidence.

“The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought,” wrote Chief Justice Roberts.

Though the police must get a warrant before searching your phone, they can turn it off or remove the battery in order to stop anyone from tampering with evidence before they have the warrant. However, if a police officer searches your phone without presenting a warrant first, contact a lawyer like the skilled legal professionals at Bentoff & Duber.

What do you think of this ruling? Let us know in the comment section below.

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About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.