Can a police officer text off of a confiscated phone?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2011

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Can a police officer text off of a confiscated phone?

Police officers confiscated a friend’s phone and they sent text and made facebook statuses off of it. They said that there would be a party at this kid’s house. Is it illegal for them to do this? Does this abide by the Patriot Act? If this is illegal, what law would prove it is or case?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Criminal Law, Missouri


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If law enforcement confiscated a cell phone of a friend, it can legally do whatever necessary in order to protect the people of the community that they are sworn to protect including sending texts about a supposed party at a certain location in order to ascertain the status of any illegal activity.

There is no justifiable expectation of privacy when one receives a text from some person known or known. The recipient of the text message has no idea who actually sent the message and acts in response to the transmission at his or her own risk.

The police conduct that you have written about has nothing to do with the Patriot Act which is an act dealing wiith the security of the United States as a whole and its citizens.

The conduct you have written about concerning law enforcement is entirely legal.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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