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Friday, February 4, 2011

Does the Fourth Amendment Protect You?

From the City on a Hill Press:
If you’ve ever watched the TV show “Cops,” you’re familiar with how this scene plays out. A suspect is found, arrested upon reasonable suspicion of a crime and taken away. This is standard procedure for criminals across the United States.

But what if the picture is much broader than that? What happens when the police need more evidence to convict you after arrest? In recent years, it’s become extremely easy to get that extra evidence, no further effort required.

Three years ago, a man was pulled over for being involved in an ecstasy drug deal in Ventura County. He was arrested and interviewed, and his personal belongings were taken from him, including his cell phone. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department then proceeded to search through the phone and came upon an incriminating text message that officers showed to the man, causing him to admit his guilt in the drug deal.

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