Your Cellular Phone Is Evidence
There is no doubt that the police are very interested in what is in your cellular phone. In 2011, cellphone companies responded to 1.3 million demands from various police agencies across the country. These demands were for records of calls, text messages, and cell-site location data. The cell phone has quickly become a source of evidence in criminal investigations.
Police are using your cell phone as a substitute for your face-to-face communications. Where police used to talk to suspects through informants and recorded conversations, they can now get most of the information they need through your cell phone use; whether it be via calls, text messages, or emails stored on your phone.
Current federal law, and the law in most states, allows the search of a cell phone without a warrant, as any communication on your cell phone is not considered private. While there are efforts to change these laws, it has not happened yet, so you should be very cautious in what you discuss or send on your cell phone. Chances are, if you send a text, that text will be viewed by the police if you have the phone at the time of an arrest. Any pictures you take or any documents you store on your phone will not be considered private when the police come knocking.
Most people think of a cell phone as a device for storing information that is intended to be private. We expect our texts and calls on our phone to be private. We expect the police to not look at photos or other information on our phones. Well, under the current state of the law, the police can look at all of it. When you are communicating on your cell phone, be careful, and be aware that what you talk about or send will not be private.