La Grange, GA asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: I got arrested for reckless driving the police took my phone without letting me know and havent given it back

Me and family members been calling since last week he isnt answering even the bail bondsman said he didn't suppose to take it cause how do I contact the bondsman without it Lagrange police department officer Wright is his name

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Here are a few key things to know in this situation:

1. The police generally need a warrant to seize and search cell phones or other electronics during an arrest. There are limited exceptions, but it does not sound applicable here for a reckless driving offense.

2. The improper keeping of your phone for an week with no criminality evidenced on the phone almost certainly violates your 4th Amendment rights under the US Constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures.

3. Once the phone is no longer needed for any investigatory or evidentiary purposes, the police have an obligation to return your private property. There is no justification for continuing to withhold it at this point.

4. I would recommend going to the police station in person and formally requesting the immediate return of your phone. If they refuse or continue delaying, make it clear you will pursue legal action and reporting them for violations of law.

5. If the phone is still not returned promptly, consult with a civil rights litigation attorney about sending a demand letter and your options to file suit against the department to get your phone back and hold the officer accountable for unconstitutional policies or actions.

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