Riley Vs California Case Study

933 Words4 Pages

BLAW 371
Kangni Chen
Jan, 29,2018
Riley v. California Case Brife

Statement of Facts:
This was a consolidated case of David Leon Riley, Petitioner v. California; United States, Petitioner v. Brima Wurie, pertaining similar issues of warrantless cell phone searches incident to arrest. In the first case, the petitioner David Leon Riley had been stopped by police officers for a traffic violation. The police searched Riley’s incident to an arrest and seized a Smartphone from his pocket. At the same time, while doing an inventory search of the vehicle, police officers found two handguns under the vehicle’s hood, which prompting Riley’s arrest. While under their custody, the police went forth to carry a search on the data stored in the Riley’s phone …show more content…

After arriving to the police station for a short period, his phone started to ring and receive multiple calls that indicated as ‘my house’ as identified from the phone’s external screen. The police went ahead to access its call log, traced the number displayed as ‘my house’ at external screen to what they suspected to have been Wurie’s apartment. After securing a search warrant for the house, police officers’ searching resulted to a catch of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, 215 grams of crack cocaine, a firearm, ammunition and cash. Wurie later filed a case to suppress the evidence gotten from his apartment owing to the fact that it had resulted from a warrantless search on his phone. However, the district court had denied the motion and had convicted Wurie. On the further appeal, the First Circuit reversed the rejection of the motion, and subsequently vacating the relevant …show more content…

A warrantless search is only reasonable if it is within the specified exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirements of a warrant. The specific exception covers the applicability of warrantless search conducted incident to a lawful arrest.
In this case, such a warrant is only justified by officers’ safety interests or while seeking to prevent potential evidence destruction. Data on a suspect’s cell phone cannot physically harm an officer.
1. Warrantless search of cell phones implicates substantial greater risk of intruding upon an individual’s privacy. In this case, digital data is involved, more substantial privacy interest of an individual are at stake. Further owing to the nature in which digital data is stored, search of evidence on cell phones may extend beyond the physical proximity of an arrestee, thus the need for police officers to acquire a search warrant.

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