Search Warrant for Cell Phone Handset – Required Florida Supreme Court Says

Law Office of W.F. ''Casey'' Ebsary Jr
Cell Phone Search, iPhone Search Warrant, Search warrant
Cell Phone Search, iPhone Search Warrant

Search Warrant for Cell Phone Handset Required

Florida Supreme Court Says a police officer is not authorized to search through photographs and information within a cell phone that was on defendant at time of arrest. Cell phone had been separated from defendant at time of search. Factually, images from defendant’s cell phone depicted a weapon that resembled the gun stolen from convenience store, as well as defendant and his fiancee posing with stolen money packaged in manner described by the victim, a convenience store clerk.

Cops in the case properly separated and assumed possession of cell phone from defendant in search incident to arrest. The Florida Supreme Court held a  warrant was required before information, data, and content of cell phone could be accessed and searched by law enforcement.  Notwithstanding decisions of other courts, Conformity clause does not mean Florida courts must apply U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in United States v. Robinson in this case.

The Florida Court reasoned that Robinson not factually or legally on point. Then in a stunner, the court found that the Good faith exception to exclusionary rule does not apply, since no bright-line rule exists for law enforcement officers to rely upon with regard to searches of electronic devices under facts of this case. 

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