Chattanooga Attorney Weighs in on Illegal Cell Phone Searches

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Robin Flores, a Chattanooga Attorney, says, "It’s where the cops just get the phone, they take the phone off you while you’re being detained, they go through there and they get information."

Then law enforcement officers usually use the information they found in your phone to follow up, interview witnesses, and build a case against you.

Flores adds, "They’re going through your life story."

llya Shapiro, with Cato Institute, says, "It’s like the equivalent of having your diary, your photo album, all your bank records, your health records. Your entire life is on you at all times."

But now the supreme court is saying that’s an invasion of privacy, and therefore illegal without a warrant.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve already been getting warrants before searches, so this won’t affect them, but Flores says it will affect past and present cases tried in court.

Flores adds, "Everything that flowed from that illegal search can be tossed out. So, more than likely you’re going to start seeing a plethora of motions to suppress based on that decision."

That could change a lot of lives.

The supreme court justices say officers can still search a phone if they have a warrant or in the case of an emergency, like if there’s a child abduction or bomb threat.

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