Skip to navigation

Supreme Court Rules Warrants Mandatory For Cell Phone Searches

Brian J Smith July 27, 2014

In a big win for citizens rights and digital privacy, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the practice of searching cell phones following an arrest is illegal without a warrant. Claiming the “privacies of life” that modern cell phones contain, a unanimous decision was made to require a search warrant to thumb through a suspects mobile device. But how will this decision effect the way police officers conduct arrests? Will this new ruling actually be detrimental to the health and security of American citizens?

Law Enforcement Not Happy With Ruling

As expected, police officers across the nation are unhappy with the decision to require warrants for cell phone searches. Claiming that it will slow down the work of police officers, law enforcement are afraid that this ruling will cut down on their ability to combat certain types of crimes. In many drug cases, cell phones were used as evidence to prove a party was connected to illegal substances or dealers. Now, officers will need a warrant to help solve these crimes.

A Win for The People

While police may be upset with the decision, this ruling shows that privacy is a valid concern for citizens across the nation. Where police officers were once able to arrest someone and browse through their phone for evidence of crimes committed, they will now need a warrant to conduct these searches. Unfortunately, police officers will still be allowed to scan phones in cases of emergencies. This asks the question, what exactly qualifies as an emergency?

Even with this ruling, cops will still have the upper hand and could still be able to look through the personal items on your phone. If stopped by police and they ask to see your phone, and you offer permission, they are still allowed to use evidence in your device against you. Additionally, warrants aren’t very difficult to obtain. By filling out some paperwork, law enforcement will legally be allowed to look though your phone.

Although this ruling is a major victory for privacy concerns, people everywhere still need to be on their toes if questioned by police officers requesting to look at their mobile devices. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an illegal police search of your mobile device, contact Brian J. Smith today. As one of the top criminal lawyers in Las Vegas, Brian Smith will help you receive the justice you deserve. Call us today at (702) 380-8248 for more information.