Can Your Cell Phone Be Subject to Search by the Police?
In today’s modern digital world, knowledge and information has never been so accessible. With the vast majority of us having the world in the palm of our hands in the form of a smartphone, life may have never been easier than it is today. However, with the level of ease and accessibility our cellphone provides for us, there is also a number of caveats that come with it and these caveats can truly hamper our daily lives. From a pinpoint GPS system, to each and every call pinging a cell tower – never before has technology been so freeing, and trapping at the same exact time. And with everyone becoming more and more tech-savvy, it has led to law enforcement utilizing technology in ways they would never have dreamed of in years past. According to Mr. Steven Veigner, the top litigation attorney Boca Raton has to offer, cell phones have become the most crucial pieces of evidence in a number of different trials and criminal prosecutions. And while these devices and pieces of tech might be fair game during the course of a criminal investigation or trial, it brings to mind a common debate that many have been having in recent years – whether or not it is okay for law enforcement to search through our cell phones, without the need for a search warrant, during any type of arrest. As the best Russian attorney Boca Raton has to offer, Mr. Steven Veinger has helped countless clients to deal through improper searches of cell phones and much more during each investigation. To learn more about these laws in the state of Florida, be sure to read on below.
In 2013, the state of Florida Supreme Court tackled this very issue during a popular case that it often studied and cited in case law – Smallwood v. State. they deliberated on whether a cell phone was allowed to be searched through without law enforcement obtaining a search warrant when that cell phone was seized during the individual’s arrest. According to the top litigation attorney Boca Raton has to offer, Mr. Steven Veinger, this landmark ruling set a standard in which individuals were given a right to the privacy of their smartphones. When it comes to this specific case, Smallwood v. State, the defendant Smallwood had allegedly committed a robbery and the police had seized his cell phone when he was caught. On his phone they found certain incriminating photos, of 1) a handgun with a crucifix draped over it, 2) images of his hands with a series of engagement rings 3) the same handgun with stacks of money beside it 4) a photo of his fiancé holding stacks of money 5) a photo of him holding additional stacks of money. All of these photos were taken in the days that followed the robbery. And according to the best Russian attorney Boca Raton has practicing, Mr. Steven Veinger, considering they were obtained by illegal means they should not be used or put in front of a jury as it is fruit of a poisonous tree.
According to the Florida Supreme Court decision, they rules 5 to 2 in favor of Smallwood and his privacy,. They determined that because his cell phone, especially in this day and age, holds data and information that may be similar to what someone would have had in their home or office in past years – including banking information, photographs, medical records, and much more. As the top litigation attorney Boca Raton has in practice, Mr. Veinger believes that in past years, in order to come into any contact with this type of sensitive data and information, law enforcement would have had to have entered into his home or his office. And in doing so, they would need a search warrant. Therefore, this meant that the search of his cell phone would also require a search warrant. In an instance like this, as the best Russian attorney Boca Raton has to offer, Mr. Veinger believes that since this information wasn’t sensitive, and there was no risk to public safety or the safety of officers or even a concern for evidentiary preservation, they should not be allowed to stand. Florida’s Supreme Court agreed with this and deemed this to be unconstitutional and outside the scope of the arrest. Its important to know your rights, police do not have the right to search your phone without a warrant. For more information on such cases or to schedule a consultation, be sure to contact MR. STEVEN VEINGER today.