SCOTUS: Cell Phone Warrant Needed - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

SCOTUS: Cell Phone Warrant Needed

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court said ruled that police need to obtain a warrant before searching a person’s cell phone. Its decision will change how police obtain people they arrest private information.

Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow, at the Cato Institute said this ruling is good for the American people and needed to happen.

“Well it's been standard police procedure when they arrest someone and they pat them down they take everything that's on them including their phone and then they search that for evidence of crime,” said Shapiro. “Now that procedure has to change, the police still can secure your phone, but they need some independent reason to search it. They can't just go on a fishing expedition.”

Sgt. John Spragins, Public Information Officer for the Wichita Falls Police Department said he is not surprised by SCOTUS decision.

"We somewhat expected this to happen eventually, because of the simple fact that phones of today are like a computer,” said Sgt. Spragins.

Sgt. Spragins said there will be changes, but very minimum.

"On a day-to-day basis, it's not going change a whole lot. It will affect some of our major cases. Obviously, there are times that information or officers were searching phones, because we were allowed to. It’s also going to change up how the paperwork is done mainly."

The Supreme Court decision is simple. Just because police arrest you, it does not mean they have the right to go through your cell phone.

In the decision, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Modern cell phones aren't a technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life."

On Newschannel 6 Facebook page, over a 100 people commented about the ruling.

Billy Mansolo wrote, "If they need anything from my phone, yes they should have to get a warrant. You wouldn't let them search your home without a warrant. Any invasion of your privacy should require a search warrant."

Katrina Denis Derose, wrote -- "I think they should be able to search in it without a warrant. If they have probable cause to search it, please search it and take bad guys and drugs off the street - ASAP."

SCOTUS ruling today struck down a smart phone search in California that had been upheld by the state court of appeals and a case involving an old flip-phone in Massachusetts that a federal judge already previously thrown out.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 

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