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Cell Phone Searches Archives

Are cell phone searches illegal without a warrant?

Cell phone searches without a warrant are unreasonble searches and illegal. Anything found in that search may not be used against the person arrested. However, if there is sufficient information to get a warrant to search the contents of the phone, then it may be searched.  There are also possible exigent circumstances that may justify the cell phone searches without a warrant, like officer safety or destruction of evidence.

Are cell phone searches legal by a police officer?

Cell phone searches are legal by a police officer if he has a search warrant.  The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the case of Riley v. California just this June, 2014, that in most cases a search warrant is required.  There may be some exigent circumstances which could possibly excuse the warrant requirement, but that was not an issue nor really addressed in the Riley case.