The US Supreme Court overturns convictions that were based on information in cell phones seized by police during an arrest. In two separate cases from California and Boston, information found on a cell phone was used to locate and convict 2 defendants of crimes. Each defendant had his cell phone taken from them when they were arrested. The police went through the phone, call logs and other information in the phone. The court ruled that a warrant is needed to search the phone's contents and/or call logs.

The court explained that a cell phone is more than a simple convenience, and that because today's cell phones are more than a calling device and contain a massive amount of personal information, that searching the contents requires a warrant.

The Obama Administration fought to keep the convictions as such. However, the court overturned the convictions because of the personal intrusion. The government argued that the cell phone is like any other item seized at an arrest like a pack of gum or a watch. No chance said the court, a cell phone is much more than a pack of gum and contains personal information and effects that are protect from searches by police through the 4th Amendment.
Texting or emailing certain pictures can get you in trouble with the law. Recently a girl in a local High School was arrested for sending multiple semi-nude pictures of other girls to a bunch of male students. They re-sent the pics. As the pics were of girls under 17 years old, the distribution of those pics was both a State felony and a Federal felony. Lucky for the offending girl, the FBI did not get involved. But now, that same girl is a sex offender for life!

    John Cucci has been practicing law for over 20 years in many states and jurisdictions.

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    June 2014
    March 2014