Cell Phone Searches and Inventories

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Security and privacy among residents are constitutional rights furnished by law enforcement agencies. This paper will focus on the ruling made through the USA Supreme Court concerning mobile cell phone privacy and vehicle searches and inventories.

            The ruling made by the American Supreme Court has favored the citizen’s privacy in a great way. Search on the cell telephone incident to arrest should no longer be legalized until the officer obtains a warrant. The court has stated, that people store private data on the cellular phones that they do not wish to share with the public (Robinson, 2014).

             Despite the concurrency with the Supreme Court ruling, it is necessary that the court specify exceptions under which a phone can be searched without a warrant. For instance, if the search aims to save the life of a suspect, peruse a suspect on the run or prevent the destruction of evidence.

            Contrary to the cell phone search ruling, vehicle searches, and inventories ruling provide diminishing privacy. This means the officers can legally impound a vehicle and conduct an inventory search without warrants if the officers suspect the vehicle to host contraband items. According to law, vehicles can be moved from a jurisdiction by the time a warrant is acquired, thus the need for swift action.     Officers should be allowed to conduct vehicular searches and inventories upon a probable cause. Demanding a warrant for such exercises would lead to porous borders and increased insecurity across the country.


            Privacy is paramount in our society and so is security. Providing a law that orders officers to secure warrants before conducting a phone search ensures individual privacy prevails. Vehicular searches and inventories are appropriate and should not be limited by a warranty, as a lot of damage might occur before the warrant is obtained.


Robinson, D. (2014). The U.S. Supreme Court Says ‘No’ to Cell-Phone Searches Incident to Arrest | Illinois State Bar Association. Retrieved from https://www.isba.org/ibj/2014/09/ussupremecourtsaysnocell-phonesea

December 12, 2023
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Cell Phones Privacy

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