Originally published: September 21, 2011
Last updated: September 21, 2011 - 2:13pm
If you get arrested in California for any reason, the photos, e-mails and other personal data on your cell phone are now a bit safer from prying police eyes.
A new law now requires law-enforcement officers in that state to obtain a warrant before searching the cell phone of a person placed under arrest. This law overrides a January ruling by the California Supreme Court. According to California Sen. Mark Leno, who sponsored the legislation, this ruling had "legalized the warrantless search of cell phones during an arrest, regardless of whether the information on the phone is relevant to the arrest or if criminal charges are ever filed." The new California law unanimously passed in the state Assembly. Today the office of Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) confirmed that since the governor did not make a specific decision on this legislation, it became automatically enrolled as a law this week. Under this legislation, California law enforcement officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect's portable electronic device contains evidence of a crime.
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