The Supreme Court says police need a warrant to search your cellphone

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled--unanimously!--that police cannot search a person's cell phone without a search warrant.

The case was Riley v. California. David Riley was pulled over in San Diego for having an expired registration on his car. The police found loaded guns in his car, and then examined his smartphone.

The phone provided evidence that linked Riley with a street gang and a shooting. Based on this evidence, he was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Current police procedure law says that, once a person is arrested, the police have the right to search any items they have with them, including in their car.

But, in overturning Riley's conviction, the Supreme Court is saying that cell phones are fundamentally different from most of the things people usually carry on their person. Smartphones contain "a digital record of nearly every aspect of [people's] lives," according to the Court--and it would not be fair to allow police to pry so deeply into someone's life without getting a warrant.

This is a great ruling for anyone who cares about privacy rights and criminal defendants' rights.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Free attorney consultations...

The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370