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Supreme Court Ruling – Police Need Warrant to Search Cell Phones


In a decision from the United States Supreme Court on June 25, 2014, the Court ruled that police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.  The case, Riley v. California, can be read in its entirety at the following link: (  The Court stated that police cannot search cell phone data as a search incident to arrest.  As you can imagine, most people keep all sorts of personal information on their cell phone, such as text messages, emails, videos, photographs, etc.  After the ruling, the police generally will have to get a warrant before they can search a cell phone’s data following an arrest.

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