Riley vs. California: A “Revoltin’ Development” or Recognition of the Importance of Digital Privacy? By Adam D.H. Grant Posted by Admin on Jul 02 2014

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in David Riley vs. California 573 U.S. ___ (2014) which addressed the question of whether the police properly searched Riley’s mobile phone as part of a traffic violation stop. The officer accessed information on the phone and noticed the repeated use of a term associated with a street gang.

At the police station two hours later, a detective specializing in gangs further examined the phone’s digital contents. Based in part on the photos and videos the detective found, the stated charged Riley in connection with a shooting that occurred several weeks earlier and sought an enhanced sentence based on Riley’s gang membership. Riley moved to suppress all evidence that the police obtained from his cell phone. The trial court denied the motion and convicted Riley. The Court of Appeal affirmed the denial and the conviction. However, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the trial court. What does all this mean?

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