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Supreme Court Hears Arguments Regarding Warrantless Cellphone Searches

The keys to good legal defense are knowledge of the law and the will to pursue every possible avenue to preserve a client’s right. Often, knowledge of the law is all it takes to have some fairly significant charges dismissed or otherwise mitigated. Laws change all the time, however, which is only another reason to make sure to only have the best legal representation that follows these changes and uses them to the advantage of its clientele.

The Supreme Court is currently considering whether police can search the contents of a suspect’s cellphone following an arrest, without warrant.

Two separate cases have propelled this manner to the Supreme Court, one involving a drug dealer and the other involving a gang member. Police took a look at their cellphones after they were arrested and were able to find evidence which led to both of these people being convicted and put into prison.

In a previous ruling, the Supreme Court declared police may search the pockets of a suspect and examine what they find, both for protection of the officers and to prevent the destruction of evidence. The Obama Administration and the state of California both defend the search of cellphones, claiming that these items should no more be protected than anything else found on a suspect’s person following arrest.

Civil libertarians, librarians, news media, and others have a different opinion. It is their belief that cellphones are becoming increasingly complex. A smartphone is basically a portable computer that can carry a great deal of personal information, but none of this information can possibly harm a police officer, and police have ways to prevent the phone from being erased without searching the information themselves without a warrant.

More than 90 percent of Americans have at least one cellphone, according to the Pew Research Center, and most of these are smartphones.

In the cases that prompted the Supreme Court hearing, cellphone evidence obtained without a warrant was used to convict one person of attempted murder, among other charges, while police used the call log on the other phone to find out where the suspect lived. When the home was searched by police with a warrant, drugs and a gun were found.

If you are facing criminal charges, you should only seek the best legal defense. You’ll find it at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox. Call us today and see for yourself. We have the knowledge and the skill to defend against any charges, great or small.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.