Officer took my phone.

My car was stolen last night and involved in a hit and run accident. At the time
i was at home sleeping around 1am. the officer came in the house and asked
questions with me and my family and told me to open my phone and show him my
texts and calls and told him its my personal information and his not allowed to
do so. He took my phone as evidence and told me they would get into my phone and
find out all my information. Is this even legal? How would i fight this and get
my phone back? I run a business have a list of clients that depend on me.

Asked on May 29, 2016 under Criminal Law, California


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Officers can seize evidence and can go into phones, but only if they have a warrant or probable cause with exigent circumstances.  It doesn't sound like they had either of these based on the facts that you described. 
You need to get an attorney and file a motion for the phone to be returned to you. To do so, you'll need to hire a criminal atttorney.  They may be able to secure the return of the phone with a couple of calls to the chief, especially considering their maltreatment of a victim of a theft crime.

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