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Probation Search and Seizure

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Mar 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Criminal law -- Search and seizure -- Cell phone -- Probationary search -- Trial court did not err in denying motion to suppress cell phone data obtained from forensic download conducted by probation officer, although officer did not have warrant to search electronic devices or reasonable suspicion to believe defendant had violated his probation or otherwise committed a crime and express conditions of probation order did not expressly authorize search of cell phone data. Government's interest in supervising defendant while he was on probation for sex offenses against child outweighed defendant's heightened privacy interest in his cell phone data. Question certified: Does the search of a probationer's cell phone data by a probation officer violate the Fourth Amendment where there was no individualized suspicion for the search and the probationary search conditions, although broad, did not expressly authorize a search of cell phone data, but the probationer is a sex offender, his underlying offenses are for sexual abuse of a minor, and the results of the search are only used in violation of probation proceedings.

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John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-five years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a prosecutor in Florida before going in to private practice and representing clients in three states.


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John P. Rutkowski, Attorney at Law, firm represents clients in the area of driving under the influence, boating under the influence, Criminal & Civil Traffic Offenses. Contact me today for a free telephone consultation.