Warrantless Searches

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Update: Rodriguez v. United States (13-9972); United States v. Wong (13-1074 And 13-7075); Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet,...

When is a sniff not up to snuff (as far as the Fourth Amendment is concerned)? Ten years ago, in Illinois v. Caballes (2005), the Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the Fourth...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Prolonging Traffic Stop to Conduct Dog Sniff is Unconstitutional

Overview: Police may not extend a routine traffic stop to give a police dog time to conduct a search for narcotics, the United States Supreme Court held this week. The Court determined that, absent reasonable suspicion,...more

Riley and the Third-party Doctrine

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one groundbreaking opinion in two cases regarding cellphone searches incident to arrest. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that under the Fourth Amendment, police must...more

Federal Court Finds Hotel Room Ruse Violated Fourth Amendment

In a case testing the boundaries of how far the government can go when creating a ruse to access a suspect’s premises, a U.S. District Court in Nevada concluded that the government’s disruption of internet service to a hotel...more

Supreme Court Decides Rodriguez v. United States

On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Rodriguez v. United States, No. 13-9972, holding that, absent reasonable suspicion, the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from prolonging a traffic stop to conduct a dog...more

Court strikes down California’s “collect on arrest” DNA collection law

In November 2004, California enacted a law requiring that anyone arrested for a felony have their DNA collected. This amounted to a significant expansion of the prior law that allowed for collection of DNA after conviction. ...more

Searching Student Smart Phones in The Wake of Riley V. California

In the recent, landmark case of Riley v. California, the United States Supreme Court held that the police may not search digital data on the cell phone of an arrestee without a warrant, reasoning that smart phones not only...more

Drone on Drones: The (Dated) Law of the Skies

In the 1980s, the Supreme Court issued two decisions that remain the prevailing authority on law enforcement’s practice of warrantless, aerial surveillance. In California v. Ciraolo, the Court held that a police officer...more

Can the Police Look at My Cell Phone Without a Warrant? #CriminalDefenseAttorney

For the past century, the United States Supreme Court has given the police the right to search (without a warrant) a person who has been legally arrested. See Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 392 (1914). Unfortunately,...more

Court protects privacy in ruling on warrantless searches of cellphones

Every now and then The Nine agree on something. Among the unanimous rulings the U.S. Supreme Court issued in the final stretch this year was Riley v. California, which held that law enforcement officials may not make a...more

Fourth Amendment Precludes Inspection Of Private Property Even In Assessment Review Litigation

Recently there has been increasing debate regarding if and when assessing jurisdictions, or its agents, can invade the privacy of New York residents. Even New York’s governor has been impacted by this issue. Last week, the...more

Second Circuit Finds Fourth Amendment Violation in Law Enforcement Retention of Computer Files Not Within Scope of Search Warrant

On June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a significant Fourth Amendment decision in United States v. Ganias. The decision is premised on the well-established notion that, because of...more

Courts Defer to Individual Privacy Interests by Requiring Warrant To Obtain Cell Phone Data and Cell Site Records in Riley and...

Two recent opinions have significantly restricted the practice of warrantless collection of data stored on cell phones or by cell phone service providers. In Riley v. California the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that a warrant...more

Five Lessons for Employers from California v. Riley

In the waning days of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in California v. Riley that police officers generally violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches by conducting a...more

ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we...more

Supreme Court Decides Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Riley v. California, No. 13-132, and United States v. Wurie, No. 13-212, holding that police must generally obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone...more

Supreme Court Relies on Reed Smith Brief in Cell Phone Search Cases

The Supreme Court decided Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie yesterday, June 25, and unanimously held that the search incident to arrest doctrine does not allow law enforcement officers to search data on cell...more

Court: Police Need Warrant to Search Phone. But Guess What? They Get to Keep Your Phone While They Get One.

Will cops still get access to cell phone data post arrest? You bet. Today’s Supreme Court decision just means they need to get permission from a judge before they start searching who you have been texting. And odds are very...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Must Obtain Warrant to Access Data on Arrestee's Mobile Phone Device

Overview: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers may not search digital information on a mobile phone device seized from a person who has been arrested without a warrant. In Riley v. California and U.S. v....more

U.S. v. Ganias: Second Circuit Limits Government’s Ability to Use Electronic Material Seized Beyond Scope of Warrant for Different...

In a recent decision that provides important guidance in the developing law related to government seizure of electronic records in criminal investigations, on June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second...more

Supreme Court Fires Shot Across The Bow Of NSA Metadata Collection

Recent revelations concerning the activities of the National Security Agency (“NSA”) include reports that the NSA and other government agencies have – in secret – routinely collected in bulk the “metadata” associated with...more

Search Me: The Constitutionality of “Stop and Frisk” Policies

The constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) “stop and frisk” policy (which resulted in thousands of pedestrians detained and patted down without reasonable suspicion) was the subject of intense...more

Can A GPS Result In TMI?

The answer is “yes” – tracking employees by using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can give an employer too much information (TMI). Surreptitious Surveillance In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held (in the case of U.S....more

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering March and April 2014

The Gallaghers sued TUSD and a TUSD school employee, Michael Corum, alleging that Corum sexually abused and/or exploited their developmentally challenged daughter at a TUSD school. The Gallaghers claimed that TUSD was...more

Microsoft Mail and the 4th Amendment: Do Any of Us Seriously Think We Have a Right Not to Have Email Seized as Possible Evidence?

A perspective on the recent Fourth Amendment and privacy considerations raised by Judge James C. Francis' recent Memorandum and Order: 'In The Matter Of A Warrant To Search A Certain E-Mail Account Controlled And Maintained...more

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