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California police cannot browse through cellphones during arrest without a warrant, new law states

Posted: , by Nick T.

California police cannot browse through cellphones during arrest without a warrant, new law states
Back in January, a ruling of the California Supreme Court empowered police officers to freely search your phone for evidence should you get arrested on the territory of the state. Since neither a warrant was needed for the authorities to browse through your handset, nor it was a requirement for the potential evidence to be relevant to the case, the ruling was quickly opposed due to concerns that it was in conflict with people's constitutional rights.

Things, however, changed this week after a new California law effectively overrode the January ruling. From now on, law-enforcement officers in the state will be required to obtain a warrant before searching any “portable electronic devices” belonging to anyone placed under arrest. And before obtaining a search warrant, authorities will need to provide a solid reason for believing that evidence may indeed be present on an arrestee's mobile phone, tablet, thumb drive, or whatever gizmo happens to be in their pockets at the time of arrest.

Now, before you say that the new law would make it much easier for a criminal to get away with their mischief by destroying any digitally stored evidence, this isn't exactly the case. Keep in mind that a mobile phone may still be confiscated without being searched, or at least not until the needed permission is obtained, of course.

Do you agree with the new law, or you'd much rather let officers have the power to search the phones of whoever they arrest? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.

source: CNN via IntoMobile

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posted on 21 Sep 2011, 06:47 3

1. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Good. probably. over acting? I don't know. lol.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 07:12

2. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

yea. .

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 07:13 1

3. android_hitman (unregistered)

that's pure stupid, they should be allowed to search your phone and keep it confidential.
imagine if they are searching for a kidnapped person and on the kidnappers phone they find GPS coordinates they could save lives faster.

lets give rights to criminals... fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:29 6

11. Geeksarebest (Posts: 34; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Yeah, because a kidnapper is going to keep a set of coordinates that says "Body dumped here. X"

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 10:04

12. Tristann (Posts: 76; Member since: 04 Nov 2010)

^^ LOL.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 11:46

13. waveydavey (unregistered)

In this instance, a warrant could be easily obtained so long as the police had probable cause to believe the kidnapper was stupid enough to keep said information on his mobile phone. It's not exactly **difficult** for police to obtain warrants these days.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 07:33 5

4. Nofan (unregistered)

Android Hitman imagine if you have confidential pictures of your gf or wife on there....yeah they will keep quiet after they show EVERYBODY.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 07:50 6

5. darth8ball (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)

@androidhitman in this country you aren't a criminal until convicted. Police make a good living let them earn their pay

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 07:57 2

6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

@Nofan - or texts with gf that the wife doesn't know about....

There is also the concept of probable cause, which got shredded by the supreme court ruling. The article pointed out that the portable electronic device can still be confiscated pending application for a search warrant, so I don't see how this is a win for the bad guys.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:23 2

7. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)

just be happy you dont live in indiana, cops can walk in your house whenever they please....

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:59 3

10. superguy (Posts: 309; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Sounds like a 4th amendment suit waiting to happen.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:50 8

8. exo2u (unregistered)

anybody that doesn't realize that cops already have way too much power is retarded and you truly don't know what the real world is like. Good for cali

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:58 6

9. superguy (Posts: 309; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

Glad to see California get it right for once.

If they have a valid reason to search the phone, then getting a warrant should be no problem.

I'm tired of hearing about people complaining about the rights of "criminals." We have to protect the rights of EVERYONE, or they won't be there for YOU when you need them. Take away those "rights" and it's easy to call anyone a criminal. Then what?

Rules like this are what protect us.. Take those away and the government can do whatever they want. You get tyranny.

Sorry, if some guy gets picked up for speeding, drunk driving, or something like that, there's no reason to search the phone barring something else tipping off probable cause to ask for a warrant.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 11:49

14. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

Police officers will do whatever they want to do and will get away with it, so who cares. Just stay away from them by not breaking the law, period.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 20:14 1

18. HAPPYNEWYEAR (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

ur fat.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 11:55 3

15. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

This is a good law. We have enough of our civil liberties violated as it is.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 20:13

17. HAPPYNEWYEAR (Posts: 6; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

Definitely a good law

posted on 04 Oct 2011, 03:05

19. Tiredofthebull (unregistered)

People don't you understand what is happening with this country! it's become a socialist country with laws .how about the new law that give the police power to arrest anyone and take them strait to jail for 10 days, with no trial prof or reason! Sound nazi germany, next thing they will want is your papers. People we need to wake up from all the lies they tell us. What happened to land of the free?

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