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4th Amendment Case Study

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Per this rule, the issue is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. David Riley was driving with expired tags when he was arrested. The police impounded the car when they realized that his license was suspended. Policy states that when a car is impounded, an inventory search must be conducted. He was arrested for possession of loaded firearms. The officer seized a smartphone from his pants. The record is not clear as to what the officers did with this cell phone, but there is no doubt that an officer went through the text messages. Later on a detective that specialized in gang investigations also searched the phone at the police station. This detective not only went through text messages, but also pictures and videos. Based on what was found,…show more content…
Diaz that the police are not required to have a warrant in order to search the information on someone’s phone at the time of their arrest. In this case checking Diaz’s phone was lawful because it occurred during a search incident to arrest. A search incident to a lawful arrest allows police to perform a warrantless search of an arrested person in the interest of officer safety, destruction of evidence and prevention of escape. Based on this ruling, the digital contents of a cell phone do not threaten the safety of police officers. It makes sense for officers to secure the phone to make sure there is no potential harm, but data on the phone cannot harm anybody. There where no exigent circumstances in Mr. Riley’s case to search his cell phone. Evidence stored on a phone can be destroyed remotely. If individuals were anticipating their arrest, they could have their phone’s data wiped completely. Police officers might choose to go through the phone right then and there to make sure that evidence can’t be destroyed, but this is not the only option. Remote wiping can be prevented. Officers can just turn off the phone or remove its battery. Another option is placing the phone in an enclosure that isolates it from radio
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