If you are arrested can Law Enforcement seize your smart phone to use as evidence against you?

Do we have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of our smart phone, protected by the 4th Amendment? I believe we do. It has long been held that law enforcement can conduct a search without a warrant pursuant to arrest. Contraband, evidence of criminal conduct can be Constitutionally obtained pursuant to a lawful arrest. A smartphone is not inherently contraband (e.g. schedule 1 drugs) the authorities have time to present probable cause to obtain and present articulated facts to an independent judicial officer to obtain a search warrant.
The Supreme Court is poised to weigh in on the issue. At question is the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and just how that applies to cellphones in the possession of someone when they’re placed under arrest. Courts have rules that police can search a suspect’s property after arrest to make sure they don’t have any weapons or illegal drugs, and those searches can include looking in personal items like cigarette packs, glasses cases, and even address books. Here in Maryland law enforcement is seizing and reviewing the contents of Defendant’s smart phones.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.