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Unbelievable Police Power: Can They REALLY Search Your Phone?

In this video, we’ll be discussing the police searching your phone. You might be wondering what the law says about this, and whether or not you have any rights.

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00:00:00:27 – 00:00:10:10
Speaker 1
Hey, everyone. Have you ever thought about what you would do if law enforcement asked to look at your phone? This is Christina Williams with Just Criminal Law.

00:00:10:18 – 00:00:26:10
Speaker 2
And I am David Mann, legal storytelling specialist. So, Christina, we were talking about this and it’s so interesting. You have this phone that has all this information in it and you’re saying that the police can just ask you to turn it over and then what happens?

00:00:27:01 – 00:00:51:27
Speaker 1
Well, you have a decision to make and you don’t have to turn it over. And that’s definitely what I would recommend. Just like if they were asking to search your car or your home. Never say yes. Make them jump through the hoops. You never know. They just might not jump through the hoops they need to. And that saves you from handing over personal information or letting them go through your stuff.

00:00:52:05 – 00:01:08:12
Speaker 2
Okay, great. So, I mean, that’s great advice, but probably it’s so we carried phones around all over the place for, you know, usually kind of pretty free with them. So what’s in a phone that we might not be thinking of as being incriminating?

00:01:08:23 – 00:01:46:13
Speaker 1
Sure. Like the scenario might be you’re involved in a fender bender and law enforcement wants to know if you were texting and driving before it happened and you know you weren’t. And so you want to prove you’re innocent, so you hand over the phone so that you can prove I wasn’t texting well the law enforcement officer takes it down to the police station, plugs it into this wonderful device they have and extracts everything from your phone, which is, you know, a couple hundred gigabytes of information that basically is a window into your soul.

00:01:46:13 – 00:01:50:29
Speaker 1
And it tells law enforcement everything there is really to know about you.

00:01:51:02 – 00:02:16:27
Speaker 2
So they they’re asking for it for what sounds like a reasonable reason just to determine who’s maybe at fault in an accident. But yet you’ve handed them your soul. You’ve entered them a window into your soul. So, you know, I’m thinking about like, well, what’s on there? I mean, we all know our texts are on there and our emails and a couple of things, but what are some things maybe we’re not thinking of that’s contained in our phone that could end up being really bad for us later?

00:02:17:16 – 00:02:44:27
Speaker 1
Sure. I mean, it. You know, your locations. What what church do you go to? What doctor do you go to? You know, your Google searches, your photographs, your any articles you’ve read, the news, you follow everything that we do on our phone, your banking records. There’s just a treasure trove, really, of information about you. And law enforcement now has this in a permanent file on you.

00:02:46:01 – 00:03:07:06
Speaker 2
So it’s kind of like I mean, the comparison that seems most direct here is that it’s like it’s like they searched your house. I mean, but the thing is, is if they search your house, a house is a big thing with lots of objects. And they would have to take all these objects out on a phone. The phone is a little thing and all of this information is electronic.

00:03:07:06 – 00:03:13:19
Speaker 2
So they can actually it’s sort of like they could take everything that you have out of your house and put it in a truck and then keep it. Is that what you’re saying?

00:03:13:22 – 00:03:26:19
Speaker 1
Right. Or they could just, you know, continuously have access to your house because you are handing over this information. They don’t even know what they want to use it for right now, but they can use it in the future as well.

00:03:27:05 – 00:03:42:03
Speaker 2
Wow. So you might be like whenever they stopped you for that, that little ticket that goes away, but they’ve got this vault of information on you. And then something else happens, is what you’re saying. And then this information can come back to haunt you.

00:03:42:10 – 00:04:07:23
Speaker 1
Right. Say somebody falsely accusing you of something and you know, you didn’t do it, but they’re piecing together a case against you and they really want to try to prove your intent here. And so they might bring up something that you, you know, took a picture of or you Googled or, you know, a conversation you had when you were angry with your ex-girlfriend, whatever the case may be.

00:04:08:07 – 00:04:32:10
Speaker 1
And now they have that and they can use it however they want to against you. And even if it’s even if you’re not worried about ever doing anything wrong in the future, you should, you know, let your friends and family members know how important it is, not just voluntarily hand over your phone, your kids, you know, you know what your kids are going to be up to and you want to protect them.

00:04:32:10 – 00:04:59:18
Speaker 1
So, you know, just don’t say yes, make the officer get a search warrant and jump through the hoops. And then if something unforeseen happens in the future and they obtain this information by a search warrant, it also gives your future attorney, defense attorney, the ability to argue that they shouldn’t be able to use this phone instruction against you in a future prosecution.

00:05:00:16 – 00:05:22:08
Speaker 2
Yeah, that sounds like so. Yeah. I mean, the best thing for people to do is not hand it over and force the police to get a search warrant and the things that you just said. But in the events that maybe you kind of weren’t thinking and you thought it was going to be fine and you did give them the the phone with all the information and you need an attorney, what should you do?

00:05:22:19 – 00:05:36:17
Speaker 1
Absolutely. We will include a link in the description and you can call, text or chat with a member of my team any time, day or night. We know you only get one shot at Justice, so make yours count.

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