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Another win for those who love the Constitution

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  • Another win for those who love the Constitution

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...hone-searches/

    "The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police must obtain warrants before snooping through people’s cellphones, delivering a unanimous decision that begins to update legal understanding of privacy rules to accommodate 21st-century technology."
    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    Hasn't this been around for awhile? Or maybe I'm just thinking of a Michigan law.
    On this job, the only thing that's black and white is the car. -Peter Malloy

    Always do what's right, and if you do what's right, you won't have a problem. -My Father

    R.I.P. Dad, 3/11/56 - 5/15/14

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    • #3
      Decision was handed down this AM.

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      • #4
        Prior to this if I recall correctly there were two lower court opinions which disagreed with one another, so we finally have some clarity on it.
        The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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        • #5
          This in no way will protect criminals because officers can still seize the phone and obtain a warrant, but I can say that in more than a few alien smuggling cases that we have had, we used evidence obtained from a cell phone to help us develop cases with conspiracy charges. The majority of the time, we obtained consent from the person we are arresting to search their phone, even if we could have used search incident to arrest.
          Natural selection leaves the survivors stronger and better! Humans have escaped this winnowing for far too long!

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          • #6
            This should be a non-issue (or in this case a no-brainer). I would never search a cell phone without consent OR a search warrant. In the past, I have gone into the call log of a 'found property' phone to locate the owner, but that is as far as it should ever go.

            “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

            Miyamoto Musashi

            “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

            George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

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            • #7
              This decision shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

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              • #8
                Many state supreme courts had already decided this. If not, a search warrant was probably already common practice or department policy. So this ruling probably won't have a dramatic effect at most depts.

                Searching cell phones has been a no-no since I came out of the academy 2 years ago.

                Here's a scenario though:
                What if you have arrested someone and taken their cell phone from them (contraband in a jail) and you see their phone ring? On most of the smart phones the caller id is immediately viewable. So you write down the phone number that appears and are able to trace it to someone, etc, etc and it leads to something big. I'm thinking that would fall under Plain View.

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                • #9
                  This ruling just confirms what we already do. I would suspect that it is the same for most departments around the country.
                  In God We Trust
                  Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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                  • #10
                    Bye bye digital insurance cards/apps.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shush View Post
                      Bye bye digital insurance cards/apps.
                      What does that have to do with this case?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by just joe View Post
                        What does that have to do with this case?
                        When a driver has a digital insurance card, they hand over your phone to you so you can see it. You are therefore viewing items on their phone. So it brings up the questions - is voluntarily handing over the phone equal to consent? Is the consent limited to the exact screen that is open when handing it over? What about if a known offender( like a known dealer) calls the subject at that time, and you see it? Is there now reasonable suspicion? Can it be used as reasonable suspicion?

                        This is not a fictitious scenario. The exact scenario I stated is why my state has already said that digital insurance cards do not satisfy the proof of insurance rule. we will not take into our possession a phone to review the information. It opens us up to much.

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                        • #13
                          Okay. To me, all of the answers to your questions are fairly obvious.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by allen_gamble View Post
                            What if you have arrested someone and taken their cell phone from them (contraband in a jail) and you see their phone ring? On most of the smart phones the caller id is immediately viewable. So you write down the phone number that appears and are able to trace it to someone, etc, etc and it leads to something big. I'm thinking that would fall under Plain View.
                            What method are you using to "trace it to somebody"? How would Plain View apply if he is in custody (his phone would not have normally been in Plain View), and you removed it from his pocket when you brought him in. You may want to speak with your prosecutor to get clarification on this scenario.

                            Is it really contraband in jail, OR is it personal property to be logged in stored until his release? Should he have a 'reasonable expectation to privacy' in this scenario?

                            “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

                            Miyamoto Musashi

                            “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

                            George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

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                            • #15
                              If hes been arrested and in jail,the phone should have been turned off anyway

                              Comment

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