Ohio Cell Phone Search Requires Search Warrant
Apple and the FBI have gotten a lot of attention lately on the government’s power to search cell phones. Apple refused to unlock its phones and FBI figured out how to do it by themselves. Long before this battle ensued, the Ohio Supreme Court issued the following decision: Ohio cell phone search requires search warrant.
Ohio Cell Phone Search Requires Search Warrant Issued By Ohio Courts
The accused was arrested on drug-related charges after responding to a call to his cell phone that had been placed by a police informant. The police found the accused cell phone during the arrest. The officer put his phone in his pocket, put the accused in a police cruiser, and searched the scene for evidence. Drugs were found on the scene. Without a search warrant or consent, the officer looked at the cell phone. The search revealed call records and stored numbers that confirmed calls between the accused and the informant. The Ohio Supreme Court declared that a search warrant was required to search a cell phone. Unless there was an emergency, a warrantless search of a cell phone was a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This meant that the evidence found in the cell phone was suppressed and could not be used as evidence in any trial. The prosecutor tried to compare the search to searching closed containers, which was permitted in certain situations. The Ohio Supreme Court rejected the closed container argument, stating that cell phones were not like closed containers.
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