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Legally Speaking: Can police search your phone without a warrant?

Think of these scenarios: A defendant is arrested for selling two packets of crack-cocaine. Police search him and find his old-style flip phone, they search it and use the call logs on it to find more drugs.

Another defendant was detained for having an expired vehicle registration and his vehicle was impounded. He was arrested, officers searched his cell phone and found more incriminating evidence.

These two scenarios beg the questions should officers be allowed to search a cell phone without a warrant? This is a relevant and valid question since 90 percent of Americans own cell phones and 58 percent of them are smartphones.

The Supreme Court of the United States tackled the issue of whether an officer can search your cell phone without a warrant. Surprisingly, the justices were in complete agreement with a 9-0 vote.

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About the Author


Monica is a legal commentator and practicing attorney with her own successful practice. She currently co-hosts The Agenda on KTAR with Joe Huizenga and is a regular guest on Mac and Gaydos. She has provided legal analysis on several national networks including HLN (shows including News Now, Happening Now In America, HLN After Dark, Evening Express, Raising America, Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Dr. Drew), ABC's Good Morning America, Fox's The O'Reilly Factor, Neil Cavuto's Real World, Studio B with Shep Smith, and CNN's Headline News.

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