Most people in the United States today rely on their cell phone to contact friends, family and business colleagues alike. However, if the police suspect you of a crime, they could use that same phone against you. Access to your cell phone could give law enforcement access not only to your phone records and text messages, but also your location, your emails, your photographs and a host of other data. Because of this, it is essential to know your rights.
Can the police listen in on your conversation?
Eavesdropping on your conversations requires the police to follow a specific protocol. They must show that the wiretap is necessary for investigating a serious crime like fraud or have cause to believe that your phone has been a part of criminal activity. If the court grants a wiretap order, it will only allow the police to listen in for a limited period of time.
What about other cell phone data?
Unlike landlines, cell phones can contain a host of other data. This data can include a comprehensive list of your previous locations through GPS tracking. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police cannot access most of this data without a warrant. This additional data is separate from any wiretapping orders that may already be in place.
What can you do if the police violate your rights?
If the police listen in on your phone or access your data without following the appropriate procedures, they have violated your rights and privacy. Because of this, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney if the police arrest you after wiretapping your phone or if you suspect that you may be under surveillance. Your lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected.