Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is [ ] simple— get a warrant.
Riley v. California, 573 U.S. ____ (2014).
Warrantless cell phone searches have been addressed a couple of times by TNLawyerLee (here and here). But as of today, there is a new development out of the United States Supreme Court, significantly limiting warrantless police searches of cell phones: police generally cannot search a cell phone during an arrest without a warrant. To read the USA Today article on Riley v. California, click here. To read the full court opinion, click here.
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