Constitutional Expectation of Privacy is Extended to Cell Phones

The Supreme Court has just rendered a decision that extends constitutional protection against unreasonable searches to cell phones.

Until this ruling was handed down, suspects who were arrested while carrying cell phones (which are ubiquitous these days) were subject to having their phones searched for incriminating information. Contact lists, one’s call history, photos and text messages are but a few of the more obvious sources of information easily available to investigators.

This most recent decision, however, states that, “the term ‘cell phone’ is itself misleading shorthand; many of these devices are, in fact, mini computers that also happen to have the capacity to be used as a cell phone.”

In other words, if the police were to seize a laptop found in a suspect’s briefcase, they would be required to apply for a search warrant from a Judge. They would have to establish probable cause that the laptop contained either evidence of a crime or information that would likely lead the discovery of such evidence.

Therefore, your cell phone now possesses the same “cloak of protection.”

Image credit: Johnathan Lyman

By | 2016-12-13T09:14:07+00:00 July 20th, 2014|Maryland Legislation|0 Comments