Privacy rights are at the heart of a free society. The Fourth Amendment provides valuable protection against unreasonable government intrusion. Police can't break down your door for no reason. They can't search your belongings without justification. They can't arrest you on a whim.
The Case of Carpenter v. United States
Earlier this week, we posted about a cell phone search of a Rhode Island woman's phone that led to criminal charges being filed against her boyfriend in the death of her 6-year-old son. The Rhode Island legislature has since acted to require police to obtain a search warrant before going through a person's email, text messages or voice mails stored on a cell phone.
Maybe. At this point, it depends where you are (what state) when law enforcement searches your phone whether your personal information in your phone - such as text messages, emails and location data - can be searched by police without a warrant. Suppressing evidence of a crime because law enforcement did not follow the necessary procedures is often a key component of a criminal defense strategy.
On the docket this November, the Supreme Court of the United States is set to consider several issues related to the Fourth Amendment, search and seizure and criminal defense.