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What Is a Digital Car Search?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2018 | Criminal Defense, Firm News

Digital Car Search Attorney NJ

Most people understand that they have specific rights and responsibilities when it comes to the police asking to search their car. But what is a digital car search? Congress may close a current loophole that would allow for warrantless digital car searches. Many people across the country anticipate that the Fourth Amendment, which primarily protects you from illegal searches, would extend to your digital life. However, this may not be the case when it comes to your digital property.

Can Someone Search My Phone Through My Car?

Cars are treated differently and as connected vehicles are becoming more commonly linked to a person’s digital identity, police could use this possible exception to conduct a digital search without a warrant. The Supreme Court has identified the protections in the fourth amendment to be important enough to update them for the digital world.

In the past, the court has broadened and allowed warrant protections to GPS tracking and cell phones and is currently evaluating whether or not law enforcement officers should have to obtain warrants to get information about cell phone location information from the wireless carriers providing it.

New Technologies May Mean New Procedures

As it relates to the Fourth Amendment, however, exceptions have long existed for vehicles. Law enforcement officers can stop and search a vehicle without having to get a warrant from a judge if they have probable cause. This means that if you are stopped for a routine traffic violation and the police officer finds probable cause that you may have committed a crime, he or she may be eligible to search the vehicle.

The main problem with this is that vehicles are changing dramatically, both in terms of the personal and sensitive nature of the information they can hold and the sheer amount. A whole new host of applications that enhance safety, efficiency, and convenience for drivers could be exposed to police officers depending on how the court responds.

Getting Help From a Lawyer After You’re Accused of a Crime

While some of these applications may require passwords, many only do this when the driver initially logs in. This raises important questions and concerns for people going forward. If you believe that you may have been subjected to an illegal search, you need to schedule a time to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Moorestown, New Jersey. Contact Steven Piper Law today to learn more about your next steps.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.