Your Rights: Cell Phone Seizure and Police

Female Traffic Police Officer Recording Details Of Road Traffic Accident On Mobile Phone

The police are standing near you, and they are demanding your cell phone. It can become an overwhelming experience with your mind racing. Please read what I would tell my clients to do in this situation. And, make sure you have a pen to write critical information on your arm. You’ll find out why below:

Once again, the Michigan Court of Appeals has addressed the seizure of (1) cell phones and (2) information on the cell phone by police. This month the appeals courts recognized two possible “seizures” of a cell phone or the information on the phone by police. To take advantage of these situations, you must NOT have given your phone or access to the information on the phone to the police voluntarily.

One overriding lesson is coming out of these decisions for criminal defense attorneys and their clients, NEVER, EVER AGREE TO GIVE THE POLICE YOUR CELL PHONE OR PERMISSION TO ACCESS THE INFORMATION ON THE CELL PHONE. It does not matter if you have done anything wrong or not. Do not consent to the police taking your cell phone, and never give them your password or access to the information on the phone. Make them get a search warrant. They will have a tough time getting one.

Remember what I say all the time; the police can and will lie to you as part of their investigation. They will tell you that you have to give them your phone – the police are telling a lie. They will tell you that you have to provide them with the password; it’s a lie. They will tell you if you cooperate, they will put in a good word for you with the judge or prosecutor; it’s a lie.

Whether you have done anything wrong or not, do not ever voluntarily give the police anything without a search warrant, and under no circumstances give them a statement. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area, one with as much experience as possible, preferably with past prosecutor experience, for help.

Another tip if the police are going to take you to jail, write your attorney’s phone number on your arm, and call them when you get to the jail. The police will take your wallet and your phone, so the only way to access the phone number is to write it on your arm.

Remember, I am always available 24/7 to take your call, and get you through this tough time, write my cell number on your arm 586-914-8577.

Bill McCririe, Attorney