Cell phone searches…no warrant needed

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The Supreme Court is considering whether police can search suspects’ cellphones without first getting a warrant. 22News spoke with some Franklin County residents who say a warrantless search is an invasion of privacy.

Smart phones have become an everyday accessory holding just about all of our personal and financial information. But what if police could look through your phone without your permission or even a search warrant….

For most of us, our cellphones never leave our hands whether we’re at work, on vacation, or …….even committing a crime. And that kind of attachment to our mobile device has police pressuring the supreme court to allow them to search the phones of people they’ve arrested. It became an issue after the conviction of a gang member and drug dealer based on evidence found in a cell phone.

But some people told 22News not all crimes are search worthy. Robert Clugh says it’s an invasion of privacy. “Invasion of privacy! They should never pass such a thing like that. Especially if someone is not doing anything wrong just committing a crime like a DUI or something like that. There’s no need to go through someone’s cell phone.”

Supreme Court justices favor limiting warrantless cell phone searches to look for evidence of a crime on which a person is arrested.

Some residents told 22News, catching a criminal isn’t as easy as looking through text messages. ” That’s making the police able to bypass laws that they’re trying to enforce. If people are murdering people they’re probably not texting their friends about it,” said Ezekiel Heter-Wegscheider.

Under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, police generally need a warrant based on probable cause before they can conduct a search. Supporters of the warrantless phone searches argue that waiting for a warrant could give people time to erase vital information from their mobile device.

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