You may have taken note that in California, among other areas, police can search your phone’s contents without a warrant upon arrest. If you’ve password-protected or encrypted your phone, you’re somewhat protected. If your phone’s not directly on you, that’s another layer.
Tech news site Ars Technica explicates the finer points of arrest, search, and seizure laws as they relate to cellphones. There’s an interesting point about cellphones that aren’t “immediately associated with your person,” and how police will likely be forced to obtain a warrant to get at a phone in your gym bag, trunk, or other slightly detached storage area.
As for password protection on a phone, you can’t be compelled to break it during an arrest if you don’t want to…
As such, if you are arrested or detained by a law enforcement officer, you cannot lawfully be compelled to tell the officer anything other than your basic identifying information-even if the officer has not read you the Miranda warning. Exercising your right to remain silent cannot be held against you in a court of law, nor can it be used to establish probable cause for a search warrant.
However, if you voluntarily disclose or enter your mobile phone password in response to police interrogation, any evidence of illegal activity found on (or by way of) your phone is admissible in court, regardless of whether or not you’ve been Mirandized.
Why should you bother? It’s important to know your rights, regardless of whether you need to protect your phone contents or not. And if you’d rather not have the police looking through your phone and finding information you’d otherwise not like disclosed, regardless of what your detainment or arrest were for, it’s your right to force the issue in court.
Related Posts: On this day...
- Televised police chase zips past man recording it on his TV - 2013
- The CIA Exposes the Truth About Ron Paul - 2012
- Who Knew Dead Zombie Hookers Were So Fun? - 2011
- Kellee Maize - City of Champions - 2011
- Pennsylvania State Troopers with a drawn assault rifle, bracket a terrified driver during a roadblock set up near Pittsburgh - 2010
- Interview with an adware author - 2009
- Anti-spammer fined $60K for DNS lookup "hack" - 2008