In today’s world of social media, many law enforcement officials in New York are looking at defendants’ cellphones for evidence. In fact, tech companies store so much information on cloud servers that some officials don’t need a physical cellphone to find the evidence that they’re looking for. If you’re facing criminal charges, what does this mean for you?
Can the police search your cellphone?
Technically, the police can’t search your phone unless they have a justifiable reason backed by criminal law. Typically, they must get a court order or a search warrant. Once they have the right documents, the police have the right to search your phone even if you don’t give your consent.
If your information is on a cloud server like iCloud, the police might not even need your phone. They could contact Apple to see the information that you’ve been storing on the company’s servers. Similarly, the police can contact social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to see private information that you might be hiding from public view.
Under certain circumstances, they can also see messages or pictures that you’ve sent other people if the other person gives these items to them. The other person can refuse to give them this information, but the police can override their refusal by getting a search warrant. Ultimately, the police can get access to virtually anything as long as they have a subpoena, search warrant or court order. For this reason, it’s important to hire an attorney as soon as you’ve been charged with a crime.
How could an attorney help you defend yourself?
An attorney could defend you against virtually any charge, from small misdemeanors to serious felonies. Potential charges could include drug possession, manslaughter, theft, robbery, traffic violations, sex offenses, driving under the influence and much more. The punishments can vary, but you could be looking at thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison if convicted.
Even if you’re facing false accusations, a single mistake could upend your entire case. An attorney could help you fight off the charges from the beginning.