Can police search your phone while you are in custody without your knowledge?

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Can police search your phone while you are in custody without your knowledge?

I was arrested for DWI, I was not drunk, but I was highly toxic and incoherent
by medications given by doctors and was basically in a comatose state for 8
days. After getting out and and regaining conscience, I noticed that a friend
had tried to ‘facebook call me’ and 7 hours later the call was returned but
unanswered, while I was in custody and they had my purse, where my phone was. I
did not have knowledge of this till now, 3 months later.

Asked on November 26, 2017 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The Supreme Court has been granting more and more protections to defendants regarding cell phone searches.  Unless they had probable cause or a warrant to search your phone, they cannot just go through your phone.  The only other potential exception would be if the officers were having issues identifying you because you were incoherent.  However, they cannot invoke this exception if your identification was otherwise available to them (like in your wallet or purse).


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