Police can search suspects' cell phones, Florida court rules
Florida: On June 15, 2012, Florida's 5th District Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that did not allow evidence collected through a police search of a cell phone to be used in court. Now, police are allowed to search cell phone as they would a wallet. The controversy surrounding this decision may lead it to the state Supreme Court.
The case revolved around Ricardo Glasco, who was arrested for possession of cocaine and other drug paraphernalia. Police failed to obtain a search warrant before searching his phone. Some incriminating text messages were going to be used as evidence, but were tossed out by a Brevard County circuit judge in light of the missing warrant.
Michelle Suskauer, a legal analyst for NewsChannel5 in Palm Beach County, voiced some concerns that people are having about the ruling. "As a criminal defense lawyer and as a citizen it certainly troubles me because certainly you think that your cell phone is private," she said. Others, however, compare cell phones to an address books and believe it makes sense for police to search them.