Court of Criminal Appeals: “a cell phone is not like a pair of pants”

The highest appellate court for criminal matters held that a warrantless search through a cell phone violated the 4th Amendment on the U.S. Constitution. The cell phone was in the property lockup of the Walker County Jail when an officer with the Huntsville Police Department accessed the contents of the phone without a warrant or permission from the owner. The phone’s owner was incarcerated for a matter totally unrelated to the officer’s investigation when prompted him to look through the phone’s contents.

The Court, because it reasoned that “a cell phone is not like a pair of pants or a shoe,” held that the search was unconstitutional and upheld the trial court’s suppression of the evidence gathered in that search. The full text of the opinion is here: Texas v. Granville.