The Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, has been busy lately.
From the Hobby Lobby case to cellphone issues, the justices have been
addressing a wide range of legal matters in the last few weeks. When it
comes to those facing
criminal charges, the holding issued by SCOTUS in the cellphone case could have a major impact.
The case focused on the question of whether or not police could search
a cellphone after arresting someone suspected of committing a crime. Enforcement
officers, it was argued, may be able to use information held on the phone
to protect themselves. After all, the suspect could have sent his or her
friends a text to come to the rescue. Having this information could allow
the police to prepare for a potential ambush.
Since such incidents were rarely heard of, the justices dismissed this
argument relatively quickly. They also gave little weight to a second
argument: that if information was not gathered immediately, evidence held
within the cellphone could be destroyed remotely. Again, very few cases
have ever had this problem. In addition to disagreeing with these arguments,
SCOTUS also noted the relative ease of getting a warrant. Technological
advances allow officers to make a call and get the legal approval to move
forward with a search through issuance of a warrant with relative ease.
Ultimately, SCOTUS decided that in most cases policy must get a warrant
to search one's cellphone. As a result, enforcement officers that
do not follow proper protocol when it comes to searching a cellphone could
lose any evidence they gather. This evidence would not be allowed in court,
potentially leading to a dismissal of charges.
This is just one of the areas of a case a criminal defense lawyer will
review. If you are facing criminal charges, contact an attorney to review
your case and help build a strong defense.
Source: SCOTUS blog, "
Get a warrant! Today's cellphone privacy decision in Plain English," Amy Howe, June 25, 2014