Riley Vs California Case Study

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1. Riley v. California
573 U.S. (2014)
United States Supreme Court

2. Key Facts:

A. Riley was stopped for a traffic violation. An officer seized a cell phone from Riley’s pants pocket without a warrant. Utilizing digital information accessed from the cell phone, detectives discovered records tying Riley to a criminal street gang and that placed Riley’s phone at a shooting three weeks prior to his traffic violation. The State charged Riley in connection to a shooting and sought to add a gang enhancement to his sentence.

B. Riley was convicted in California of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, shooting at an occupied vehicle, and attempted murder.

C. Riley moved to suppress all evidence that the police had obtained from his cell phone. The trial court denied the motion and Riley was charged. Riley was convicted in …show more content…

The California Court of Appeal later affirmed the convictions and denied the suppression of evidence on the basis of California Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Diaz.

3. Issue: The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. Riley involves whether police officers can search a suspect’s cell phone without a warrant during an arrest. In Riley v. California, the lower court ruled that a police officer not only can seize and secure a suspect’s cell phone during an arrest, but they can also search the contents of that phone without a warrant or probable cause. Riley moved to suppress all the evidence the officers had obtained during the search of his cell phone on the grounds that the search violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be

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