[Spencer Daily Reporter nameplate] Fair ~ 55°F  
High: 69°F ~ Low: 43°F
Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

Warrantless Search of Cell Phones By Police

Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at 9:23 AM

Similar to the practice of placing a GPS monitoring device on a suspect's car without a warrant (which was prohibited last year by the US Supreme Court---I think I blogged about that), Courts are now wrestling with the issue of whether or not the police should be able to search through information stored on an arrestee's phone.

The following is an article about this from the New York Times.


With the advent of "smart phones" and the ability to synchronize data with home and office computers, many of these devices carry an incredible amount of information, including passwords, user names, and even client or customer notes and information.

Do you think the police should be able to rummage through someone's cell phone for information without first obtaining a search warrant?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Get a warrent!!!!!

-- Posted by Cookster on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 1:21 PM

I think you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your phone. Warrant.

-- Posted by Sony on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 8:45 AM

No. Such violations of privacy are clearly nothing but authoritarian power grabs by security bureaucracies who have little interest in Constitutional rights.

-- Posted by jlees on Mon, Dec 10, 2012, at 12:09 AM

Until the law catches up with new technology, we will be subject to police taking advantage of the courts ignorance. You have one option when ever in a vehicle, place the phone entirely out of reach. Lock it in the glove box if possible, or just toss it in the back areas of the car. So long as it is outside of your grasp when the they come up to your car, they are not allowed to search that device.

-- Posted by A. View Point on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 1:24 PM

I say get a warrant. How is a phone/smart phone any different than your home computer? Police are not allowed to just enter your home and log on or take it to search, so to me a phone is not any different..

-- Posted by krisv on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 12:16 PM

Absolutely not! There are too many abuses by authority already. Get a warrant.

-- Posted by JTennant on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 6:28 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Description: JP's take on legal (and other) issues which interest him. Biography: Born in Spencer Iowa, February 6, 1957; Graduated Spencer High School 1975; University of Iowa (B.B.A. 1979); Creighton University School of Law (J.D. 1984); American Jurisprudence Award: Debtor/Creditor Relations; Assistant State Attorney, Florida, 12th Judicial Circuit, 1986-89; Assistant Clay County Iowa Attorney, 1989-93; Iowa State Bar Association: Volunteer Lawyers, 1993- ; American Citizenship Committee, 1994-98; Bridge the Gap Committee 1991-94; Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, 2002- ; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004- ; Iowa Association for Justice, 2004- ; American Bar Association, 1984- ; Florida Bar Association, 1986- .