Day: February 6, 2011

Rain forests and beaches aren’t the only places that should worry about erosion…the Fourth Amendment has cause to be concerned following a decision by the California Supreme Court which permitted an officer’s search of a suspect’s cell phone texts nearly 90 minutes after the suspect was arrested.

The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment further states that no warrants shall issue absent probable cause. Warrantless searches are therefore per se unreasonable, and subject only to a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is known as a “search incident to a lawful arrest.” Officers are permitted to conduct prompt, warrantless searches of the suspect’s person following arrest in order to check for weapons or for evidence that may be concealed or destroyed.

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