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Probation Search and Seizure

Posted by John 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 Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-four years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.


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