Do Police Need a Warrant to Search Your Cell Phone?

aaron-burden-149693-copy-300x225A cell phone is a mechanical device used for personal and business transactions. Because it is widely available, many people use cell phones to communicate. It is one’s property, kept and protected for privacy.

What happens if you are called in for questioning or accused of a crime? Are the police allowed to search your cell phone? If they are, then do they need a warrant to search your personal property?

What is a Warrant?

Before we go deeper into your civil rights in terms of searching cell phones, let us first discuss what a warrant is. A judge issues a warrant for various reasons and a just cause. These can include (put are not limited to):

  • A suspect’s arrest
  • Searching a suspect’s property
  • Obtaining evidence
  • Missing a date at the court

Types of Warrants

A federal or state judge issues a Chicago, Illinois arrest, or bench warrant. If you have one of these warrants and need help, please get in touch with our office.

Arrest Warrant

A judge issues this court order for an individual’s arrest or detention for committing a crime. But, before issuing the arrest warrant, the judge has some considerations. We have the presentation of the law enforcement’s thorough investigation.

There are cases where the accused may post a bond before being released. There are also those who stay under the custody of the law enforcement. This is where interrogation happens. The law enforcement or prosecutors use those statements in the court. So, it would be best to get legal counsel.

Bench Warrant

This is a warrant issued to the accused with bonds and they fail to appear in the court on the scheduled date. The law enforcement will then find and arrest the accused. He will face the court, and the judge decides his punishment.

If you are an accused subject to this type of arrest, then you should get legal counsel. Attorney David L. Freidberg is a professional in this area.

Is a Warrant Needed for Searching Your Cell Phone?

Going back to the issue about the police searching your phone, is a warrant needed? As an accused or a suspect, you have to know your rights.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that upon arresting a criminal suspect, police may not search his or her cell phone without a warrant. This is to protect civil rights to privacy.

The news also states that electronic devices are not personal property falling in a category like vehicles or wallets. The search of cell phones is only allowed with probable cause or enough evidence. The cell phone needs protection with or without a warrant. This is to ensure the civil right to privacy or to secure any evidence kept within the cell phone.

Hiring Legal Counsel

As an individual, you have the right to get legal counsel. You need an attorney who you can trust and who can defend you. We are available to help you with your searching and warrant issues. You may visit Attorney David L. Freidberg at his Law Office at 70 W Madison St. #1450, Chicago, IL 60602.

You may contact the office 24/7 and someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible. If you wish to contact him for inquiry or advice, then you may reach him via phone at (312) 560-7100. You may also contact the office by e-mail. Feel free to send him a message at dfreidberg@freidberglaw.com. You may also browse our website to learn more about the services our office is able to provide.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)