California Supreme Court Rules Your Cellphone is Subject to Warrantless Searches

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. spaz33g

    spaz33g Rescue Squad
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    Unless theres some sort of magic pattern unlock bypass code I don't know of they would at the very least have to take the phone sompeplace for it to be forcefully unlocked. It may be the right of an officer to search my phone on the spot but it is also my right to refuse to assist in said search if it is unwarranted.

    tappin and a talkin
     
  2. Yakuzagang5

    Yakuzagang5 Member

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    I agree with this. Why can an illegal aliens get funded to go to college and get a drivers license, but yet police are allowed to violate personal property without a search warrant?
     
  3. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Still needs probable cause...
     
  4. Mr. Orange 645

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    Absolutely you can refuse. Just understand that it is also naive on your part to believe that a simple pattern lock cannot be defeated.

    Besides, this is all conjecture and speculation pending a final ruling by the US Supreme Court (who often leave some part of their ruling open to interpretation unfortunately).
     
  5. Firewing

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    Sorry, I have read it now, and if the police could only look thru your phone after you have been arrested (with reasonable probable cause ) then that is a different matter entirely ...something I can understand, and might agree with, but I need to think about it some more
    Cara

    Sent from my Sourcery using DroidForums App
     
  6. Mr. Orange 645

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    Probable cause is only one of the exceptions, and from what I understand, this ruling is concerning the search incident to arrest exception.

    The exceptions are:

    1. Search incident to arrest
    2. Exigent circumstances
    3. Plain view evidence
    4. Probable cause (Only applies in motor vehicles, not houses where a search warrant would be required).
    5. Inventory search for a tow (again for a vehicle).
     
  7. spaz33g

    spaz33g Rescue Squad
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    I'll let you call me naive if you can illustrate to me how a police officer can, without a dedicated tool, unlock my phone on the side of the road.

    tappin and a talkin
     
  8. Backnblack

    Backnblack Premium Member
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    Due to the nature of the OP....Let's not get into a heated political debate.
    I'd hate to ban myself.....
     
  9. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Gold Member

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    Doesn't really matter either way....They can always just subpoena phone records to see you were texting or browsing while driving.
     
  10. Backnblack

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    Also applies to Plain View also IIRC....
     
  11. spaz33g

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    I would rather that than have my privacy roundly violated on a device that not only contains texts and phone records but also emails photos personal info etc.

    tappin and a talkin
     
  12. fdkatz

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    Couple of lawyerly points. First, requiring a warrant isn't denying the police the ability to search. It simply requires that a neutral magistrate, as well as the police office, believe that there is probable cause that the search will produce evidence of a crime. Police officers are no different from the rest of us. They sometimes get a little to close to what they are working on. There is no reason to not require the warrant in the situation of the Dias case as the police had the phone--it wasn't going anywhere.

    Second point is that the reason for the exception to the requirement for a search warrant for seizing items incident to arrest is the urgency of the situation. Is the perp armed? is he going to destroy evidence? The seizure makes sense in that situation. In the case decided by the California Supreme Court, the phone itself wasn't contraband like the heroin in one of the cited cases. It wasn't a weapon. The police had custody of it legitimately. A system that protects all of use would require the police at that point to get a warrant from a neutral magistrate. I question whether they could show that there was probable cause to believe that evidence of the crime would be found on the cell phone. In the heroin case, the cigarette pack didn't feel right, didn't feel like cigarettes, justifying further inquiry. Did the cell phone feel like it had incriminating text messages? I don't think so.
     
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