June 29, 2017By Brian Manchester
Cell phones are a big part of our everyday lives. We text, email, shop, search the internet, Facebook and yes we even still make phone calls. Even more importantly cell phones store private information on them including banking data and more. But how private is the information contained on your phone, what about the information stored in services like Apple Cloud, or information stored by your providers, including your search history and the location history of your phone.
When arrested in Pennsylvania for a crime more and more the police are searching cell phones. Often times police officers investigating a crime in Pennsylvania are not getting a warrant to search your cell phones. When prosecuting a crime in Pennsylvania the government often tries to use the data on cell phones against a criminal defendant. Many of the crimes people are charged with in Pennsylvania such as Possession With the Intent to Deliver drugs, Small Amount of Marijuana, Drug Possession, Conspiracy, Illegal Use of a Communication Facility, Fraud, even Murder, involve cell phone evidence.
Police cannot just open up your phone and start downloading information off of the phone. Police investigating a crime in Pennsylvania often do this but they legally can’t. The first thing they have to do when investigating a crime in Pennsylvania is to secure a search warrant. Then even if they are able to take information off of your phone such as text messages, phone call logs, emails, or other forms of communications. This information does not automatically come into evidence against you. The police must be able to identify the individual who actually used the phone. Just because you may have purchased the phone does not mean that you were the individual that was using the phone whenever some type of illegal activity was taking place with the phone. The District Attorney’s office and the police must be able to properly authenticate the user of the phone when the messages were being sent or received. If they fail to do this then the messages, logs, emails all become inadmissible hearsay. If the search was done without a warrant the evidence becomes inadmissible in Pennsylvania state and federal courts.
If you, your son, daughter, loved one or friend is being investigated for a crime in Pennsylvania or has already been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with criminal in state and federal court. At Manchester and Associates, the vast majority of our practice is criminal defense. With a combined experience of over 50 years, there is almost no situation we have not encountered. For a free consultation we can be contacted at (888) 994-7616.