Warrant Required to Search Mobile Phones Rules Ohio Court

Described as a landmark case by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that police offer’s must gain a search warrant before they search a suspect’s mobile phone unless their safety is in danger reports an article over on wireless week.

Apparently this kind of issue has never before reached another state high court or the United States Supreme Court, and the Ohio high court came in with a 5 to 4 ruling in favour of Antwaun Smith who was arrested after he answered a mobile phone call from a crack cocaine user posing as a police informant.

The police seized Smith’s mobile phone and searched it without his permission and without a search warrant and the phone’s history show Smith had had previous contact with the drug user and thus charged with cocaine trafficking, cocaine possession, 2 counts of possession of criminal tools and tampering with evidence.

At trial Smith maintained the evidence from his mobile phone was inadmissible as the police didn’t have a search warrant and thus violated the constitutional ban on unreasonable seizure and search.

Image via gerrymay

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