Your Cell Phone is Subject to Warrantless Search

Smallwood v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D911 (Fla. 1st DCA, Apr 29, 2011): Defense Appeal, Affirmed – Motion to Suppress was denied by trial court and defense appealed.  Defendant tried to get incriminating photographs on cell phone suppressed from evidence in a robbery case.  State relied on case law in support of position that search of cell phone was proper.  All state case law had to do with drug buys.  Defense argues that cell phone is not to be defined as a “container” under older cases and should be excluded from a search absent a warrant.  Question certified: DOES THE HOLDING IN UNITED STATES V. ROBINSON, 414 U.S. 218 (1973), ALLOW A POLICE OFFICER TO SEARCH THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS CONTAINED WITHIN A CELL PHONE WHICH IS ON AN ARRESTEE’S PERSON AT THE TIME OF A VALID ARREST, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THERE IS NO REASONABLE BELIEF THAT THE CELL PHONE CONTAINS EVIDENCE OF ANY CRIME?

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