Lansing, MI asked in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: If I am arrested are the police allowed to keep my phone and search it from the moment of arrest w/out consent?

My fiance was recently arrested on suspicion of armed robbery. The details of how he was named the suspect are very unclear and we were told several different stories from someone identified him to he matches the suspect in the photo (photo is blurry and shows someone whose face is fully covered and has some tattoos on his arm which my fiance does have a full sleeve). Police made contact with him by pulling their sidearm on him outside of the hotel he was currently staying in. He went back into our room and refused to exit until police explained why they had pulled their firearm on him and what exactly he was being accused of. Eventually he did exit the room without the need for force under his own free will. At the police station he was informed that the detectives had his cell phone and would be keeping it to go through. He never gave consent for this nor did they provide any proof of search warrant for the cell phone. They asked me what the pass code was stating they had misplaced i

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Your boyfriend - not you - needs to get a lawyer to handle this. And you should also not be talking to the police without your own lawyer, including answering questions you have no obligation to answer.

How he was identified as a suspect is something for his lawyer to figure out. The police don't otherwise owe him or you an explanation. What's legally relevant, from your fact scenario, is that they drew down on him in an effort to arrest him. He then went inside a hotel room. Not a smart move - which could lead to other charges, and could have ended much worse.

You can be sure they will keep his phone and will obtain a search warrant if need be. Your best move at this point is to ensure he has a lawyer and that you also not say, do, or provide anything without advice of a lawyer.

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