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Thread: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    It really isn't. Unless you can show me where in the Constitution there is a warrant requirement to search a cell phone of a person who is in lawful custody. Or perhaps you could explain what language the Framers used that gave more protection to a cell phone than a pack of cigarettes.


    A cell phone is no more dangerous to a police officer than is a laptop computer in the possession of the person arrested. Both contain private personal information. A laptop has not been held to be unsearchable without a warrant, but the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal's analysis in US v. Burgess walks right up to that point. Check out pages 13-20:
    http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/08/08-8053.pdf
    Last edited by Albert Di Salvo; 01-07-11 at 12:35 AM.

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Hmmm....Lets examine the logic of this for a minute.

    Cop pulls someone over.
    Cop smells MJ.
    Cop asks the driver if he/she may search his/her car.
    Person says no.
    Canine unit comes and sniffs around the car. Dog gives its indicator that there are drugs present.
    Cop now has reasonable cause to search without warrant.
    Cop searches car and finds 5lbs of MJ and 3lbs of cocaine.
    Person gets arrested.
    In the process of being arrested the cop is allowed to: physically search the person, including putting hands inside pockets, and looking inside any containers that may be on the persons being or in the car.
    At the police station the person may be strip searched and even checked in the bum hole for any possible hidden items.
    Also at the impound lot or police garage or where ever they do it, that persons car is getting and even more thorough examination. Quite possibly even to the point of the car being taken apart piece meal.

    So....after all of that do people really think that a persons cell phone should not be subjected to the same intense examination? Just because it might contain even more data? Like a cavity search isn't more intrusive when compared? Seriously, people need to get a grip. If you can't do the time then don't do the friggen crime.
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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Criminals should not be able to hide in plain sight. Some people seem to think so. I am a crime show buff and one thing I know is that cell phones are very valuable in police investigation. In the case of someone getting abducted being able to search a cell phone can quickly lead in the right direction to search for an individual. It is crazy that criminals can go hi tech on us to commit crimes faster and better and we have to rely on antiquated methods to get at the information we need. We really shouldn't elevate things like cell phones to some special category. What if the criminal had a notebook on him? Did we need a warrant to look at that in the course of arresting someone. As many have said in the defense of changing some law or ignoring the Constitution "The founding fathers couldn't have foreseen blah, blah, blah when creating this law blah, blah, blah..." Well we need to change with the times in dealing with crime and criminals. We have to speed things up otherwise we lose a lot of ground to criminals. Yes, it is not going to be to the letter of the law as to what the founding fathers or whatever put in the constitution but then again how long did it take for a letter to reach someone on the other side of the country back when we framed the constitution?
    Last edited by jambalaya; 01-07-11 at 10:51 AM.

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    IMO, warrants should always be required unless exigent circumstances exist. I don't see why a warrantless search would be necessary to search someone's phone unless there is some indication that the person would be able and likely intends to erase the info.

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Quote Originally Posted by ??? View Post
    IMO, warrants should always be required unless exigent circumstances exist. I don't see why a warrantless search would be necessary to search someone's phone unless there is some indication that the person would be able and likely intends to erase the info.
    Guy has a notebook in his pocket. Is a warrant be required to open and read it?
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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Guy has a notebook in his pocket. Is a warrant be required to open and read it?
    Yes. I don't think that's extreme. If there has been an arrest warrant issued, it could also specify types of things that can be searched on the person's body. Otherwise it should simply be seized. I don't like when officers can arrest somebody based on belief of a certain crime, then prosecute him for an unrelated crime based purely on what they find during an incidental search.
    Last edited by Cameron; 01-07-11 at 12:27 PM.

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    In this case, the defendant used his cell phone to set up a drug sale with a police informant who was wired. His cell phone was seized and searched because it contained material evidence of conspiracy to commit a felony. In other words, his cell was already known to be part and parcel of a criminal enterprise and the tenet of "reasonable suspicion" was satisfied previous to the search.

    In addition, a long established rule called "custodial search" has always been upheld by the courts. If you are arrested and bound for jail, the police can search your possessions to avoid the possibility of a weapon or drugs being brought into incarceration. You've seen it on Cops dozens of times... a woman is arrested and the police go through her purse. The police cannot search your cell for minor violations such as speeding. But the courts have yet to decide on this for felony arrests such as DUI/DWI.

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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    Seriously, people need to get a grip. If you can't do the time then don't do the friggen crime.
    Of course those living in the real world know that the innocent DO get caught up, and you don't have to do a crime to do time.

    Far as I'm concerned, the more safeguards to ensure due process the better.
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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    The government giving its thugs more power? Color me shocked. I think a telescreen was just put in my room last night.
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    Re: Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    Hmmm....Lets examine the logic of this for a minute.

    Cop pulls someone over.
    Cop smells MJ.
    Cop asks the driver if he/she may search his/her car.
    Person says no.
    Canine unit comes and sniffs around the car. Dog gives its indicator that there are drugs present.
    Cop now has reasonable cause to search without warrant.
    Cop searches car and finds 5lbs of MJ and 3lbs of cocaine.
    Person gets arrested.
    In the process of being arrested the cop is allowed to: physically search the person, including putting hands inside pockets, and looking inside any containers that may be on the persons being or in the car.
    At the police station the person may be strip searched and even checked in the bum hole for any possible hidden items.
    Also at the impound lot or police garage or where ever they do it, that persons car is getting and even more thorough examination. Quite possibly even to the point of the car being taken apart piece meal.

    So....after all of that do people really think that a persons cell phone should not be subjected to the same intense examination? Just because it might contain even more data? Like a cavity search isn't more intrusive when compared? Seriously, people need to get a grip. If you can't do the time then don't do the friggen crime.
    In the case you cited, nothing in the cell phone could be relevant to the arrest. They are not going to find MJ or cocaine inside the phone, so what is the purpose of the search. FISHING.

    The other searches are relevant to the arrest as those places could be hiding drugs, not the phone.

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