Criminal defense: search and seizure of cell phones now requires warrant
Criminal defense attorneys such as myself have been following questions regarding the seizure of cell phones for quite some time. Recently, the United States Supreme Court has made it more difficult for police to look at a suspect’s mobile phone in order to get “evidence” for the crime committed. If you have been arrested and fear that police officers may have obtained evidence via your mobile phone, call criminal defense attorney Gary E. Gerson for a free consultation. In court cases U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. the state of California, the Supreme Court has decided that, with very rare exceptions, the Fourth Amendment upholds citizens’ rights and that police must obtain a search warrant in order to search a person’s mobile phone even after they are arrested. The court said that regardless of assertions for the need of quick access to the information stored in someone’s mobile phone, it would be an invasion of personal privacy and infringement upon a citizen’s Constitutional rights. Before this decision, the law was unclear on how mobile phones on the person of an arrestee could be handled. In fact, mobile phones were treated as weapons or paraphernalia in previous times and were removed from the arrestee for fear of having the phone destroyed, thus destroying possible evidence. One Chief Justice addressed the court by saying that today’s smart phones hold for many Americans the “privacies of life” and that the seizure of a suspect’s phone without a warrant would be like entering someone’s home without a warrant. There are an estimated 12 million arrests in the United States each year. Many believe that the ban on search and seizure of a mobile phone without a warrant will also spread to laptops and tablets. Some say that they think it will cut down on the amount of arrests by a considerable margin and will certainly keep those who are suspected of committing minor crimes out of jail – a sentiment most seem happy about. If you have been arrested for a crime in Pittsburgh, please call Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer Gary E. Gerson today for a free consultation. The criminal justice process can be a tricky maze to navigate and you’ll need a tough, smart attorney to advocate for you. Call today at 412-219-6875.