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florida search and seizure
From Sarasota, Florida, to Spokane, Washington, most Americans have and make use of cell
phones daily. Do you know what happens to your smart phone if you are arrested for a criminal
If the arrest occurs in Sarasota, Florida, your cell phone likely will be seized by the police
susceptible to search.
The Florida Supreme Court just recently ruled in Smallwood v. State that it is generally okay to
seize a cell phone if it is found on the person in the course of arrest. However, the Florida
Supreme Court ruled that probing a cell phone following arrest is unconstitutional without first
obtaining a search warrant that justifes the probable cause and facts which make a case for the
search of the cell phone.
Before the introduction cell phones regulations allowed law enforcement officers to search
containers discovered on the arrestee's person. The rationale to permit the search of a cigarette
case does not relate to a cell phone. Modern smartphones have the capacity for storing huge
amounts of private information. "Individuals can store highly personal data on their cell phones,
and can record their most private thoughts and interactions on their cellphones through email and
text, voice, and messages."
Prior to the Smallwood case, the cops in Florida could search the entire content of an arrestee's
cell phone if the phone was discovered on the defendant's person and taken incident to his lawful
arrest. This allowed police to find evidence of not only the crime for which the defendant was
arrested but in addition allowed for finding totally irrelevant evidence that could incriminate the
individual including drug offenses, fraud and sex crimes.
In order to search an arrestee's cell phone under the existing law in Florida, the officer must
establish probable cause "that evidence of a crime may very well be found on the cell phone prior
to searching it." The defendant's expectancy of privacy in the information on his cell phone is thus
protected under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, and Article 1, Section 12, of the
Florida Declaration of Rights.
If you don't know your rights there's no way to win in court. If you or a loved one needs is charged
witha crime involving searches and seizures of smartphones and computers, you need a Florida
Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer in Sarasota, Florida, with experience defending cases.
For more free information, you are welcome to get in touch with (941) 366-7997 today for a free
consultation. For free information check out: Sarasota criminal law.