CELL PHONES PROTECTED FROM WARRANTLESS SEARCHES

The Supreme Court of the United States in a unanimous decision ruled that the police may not search your cell phone without a warrant simply because you have been arrested. FACTS The decision involved two separate cases. In the first case David Riley was stopped by a police officer for driving with an expired tag. During the stop the officer learned that Riley’s license had been suspended and the car was impounded. An inventory search of the car was then conducted and Riley was arrested for possession of concealed and loaded firearms. During the search of Riley incident to his arrest, his “smart pho, Riley was charged with additional crimes. Prior to trial Riey’s attorney moved to suppress all evidence that the police had obtained from his cell phone. In the second case, an officer performing routine surveillance saw Brima Wurie make a drug sale from a car. Wurie was arrested. At the police station her two cell phones were taken. The officers noticed that one of the phones was repeatedly receiving calls from a particular number. They used the an online directory to trace the number to an apartment where after executing a warrant crack cocaine and other drug related items were found. The lawyer for Wurie moved to suppress the evidence arguing that it was the fruit of an unconstitutional search of the cell phone. OPINION The Fourth Amendment provides that people have the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally for a search to be reasonable, a warrant is required. Without a warrant a search is only reasonable if it falls within a...