You may have been out late on Saturday night, celebrating your college graduation with friends or a recent promotion. While you were out dancing and having a good time, you decided to try some ecstasy or meth, just to see what it was like. Then you forgot you had some of these drugs in your pocket and police stop your vehicle on your way home. Before you know it, you are under arrest for drug possession and spending the night in jail.
You’re worried that police have your cell phone and may search it to see if you are involved in selling or distributing drugs. But can police search your phone while you are under arrest?
When police want to search a cell phone
In the State vs. Granville case, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that people have a right to privacy when their cell phones are out of their possession, even when under arrest. As a result, police shouldn’t search your cell phone if you are under arrest without a warrant. In the State vs. Granville ruling, the Texas court recognized how much information can be stored on a cell phone – information people often want to remain private. The court felt warrantless searches of cell phones violated people’s Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable search and seizures.
Getting help after a warrantless cell phone search
If you discover police searched your cell phone without a warrant, and now you are facing additional criminal charges as the result of that search, you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. If police arrest you and you are concerned about police searching your phone, contacting an attorney also is important.
You want to protect your rights any time you face arrest. An attorney can help ensure police don’t search your phone or didn’t perform another unreasonable search as part of your arrest. An attorney can help ensure you don’t incriminate yourself further while under arrest. Ultimately, an attorney can present a defense against the charges you face and work to preserve your freedom.