Bohemia, NY asked in Civil Rights and Criminal Law for New York

Q: Can police search my phone with out consent, and can they use other information on my phone for another arrest?

I am a minor, my phone was taken as evidence during an arrest of attempt of burglary. I did not give them my password. They took my phone. It has picture of me and marijuana. Is this bad?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Scarsdale, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Not really; but you should consult an attorney. They cannot break into your phone or look at your call records without getting a warrant from a judge. HOWEVER, if the picture was ON YOUR LOCKSCREEN AND THUS IN “PLAIN VIEW” they likely have “PROBABLE CAUSE”, considered it was seized and obtained via an inventory search (and depending on how much weed and other factors were in the pic) to “OBTAIN A WARRENT”. If they do, they can break into the phone and also subpoena your records from your phone company, which MIGHT result in your arrest. (Then we would move to try and suppress the evidence at a supression hearing).

THAT SAID, you should have an attorney call the police department on your behalf and pick up your personal items. If you absolutely cannot afford an attorney (this would not cost much) do it yourself, but at your own risk.

We offer free phone consults so if you have any questions I will help anyway I can.


Aubrey C. Galloway III, Esq

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