While police can still inspect your phone for say a razor blade or something dangerous on the exterior, they are no longer allowed to search the contents of the phone without a warrant. This new ruling came into place Wednesday when unanimously, 9 of 9 justices agreed that cell phone and other small electronic device’s data are protected by Fourth Amendment rights.
In his explanation of the ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote that cell phones contain, “…a digital record of nearly every aspect of [Americans’] lives — from the mundane to the intimate.” He went on to say that cell phones are, “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”
While the Chief Justice Roberts had some humorous comments on the ruling, many people have suffered by what would now be considered an invasion of their privacy. Two cases that have caught the public attention include David Riley and Brima Wurie.
It’s unclear at this point in time what will happen with those who have already been convicted and whether those convictions will be upheld. Regardless, we are very proud Americans here today, as we believe that this ruling has helped to bring the Fourth Amendment into the Digital Age and honored the rights our founding fathers fought so hard for. As a criminal defense attorney, I embrace all laws that help me protect the rights of my clients.