United States Supreme Court limits search of cell phone data incident to arrest

The United States Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has held that the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested incident to a lawful arrest.  A search of digital information on a cell phone does not further government interests in officer safety and preventing evidence destruction and implicates substantially greater individual privacy interest than a brief physical search of the contents of an individual’s pockets.  That is not to say that evidence existing on a cell phone taken from an arrested person is immune to search, it is that law enforcement will have to apply and meet the requirements of probable cause to get a search warrant from a judge.

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