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Thread: Law allowing LEOs to look cell phone of driver in car accidents proposed by New Jersey state senator

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    Law allowing LEOs to look cell phone of driver in car accidents proposed by New Jersey state senator


    New legislation proposed
    by a New Jersey state Sen. James Holzapfel would let cops confiscate cellphones if they have "reasonable grounds" to believe that the driver was talking or texting when the wreck occurred.
    Officers would be required to return the phone after thumbing through its history.
    New Jersey law would allow cops to search phone after crash - CNN.com

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    Common occurrence over here for years - in the Uk this would be a huge non-story.
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    Here I suspect it won't last a 4th Amendment challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Here I suspect it won't last a 4th Amendment challenge.

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    I don't know if it's Florida Supreme Court Case law, or US Supreme Court Case law, but we are expressly forbidden from searching cell phones without a warrant due to some recent case law.

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    I guess I don't see the point. If they weren't looking at their phone and caused a crash then they're a bad driver. Hope everyone's ok, enjoy your new insurance rates. If they were looking at their phone and caused a crash then....they're a bad driver.

    Other than state Senator Holzapfel getting his name in the papers what's gained?

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    I'm guessing law would not pass, but do we really need it? We've been fine up til now. I know how to articulate my case in court for whatever charge I used, and if a witness saw them on the cellphone, they are the ones that need to testify anyway so it's not hearsay. But, if its passes, cool, another tool to use but you still need everything else I just mentioned right?

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    Regardless of whether the driver deletes a call log or text.message, it.will.till.show.up.in the records wouldn't it? And if it.is that vital to.your case, you can.subpoena the records. So it seems pretty unnecessary and given.the dubious legality of it, it seems to be yet another.example.of a legislator wasting.time And resource.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    Regardless of whether the driver deletes a call log or text.message, it.will.till.show.up.in the records wouldn't it? And if it.is that vital to.your case, you can.subpoena the records. So it seems pretty unnecessary and given.the dubious legality of it, it seems to be yet another.example.of a legislator wasting.time And resource.
    Amen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamalama View Post
    I'm guessing law would not pass, but do we really need it? We've been fine up til now. I know how to articulate my case in court for whatever charge I used, and if a witness saw them on the cellphone, they are the ones that need to testify anyway so it's not hearsay. But, if its passes, cool, another tool to use but you still need everything else I just mentioned right?
    If you really need the phone, seize it pursuant to the Carrol Doctrine (it's evidence of an offense so you've got PC that would get you a search warrant to seize it), then get a search warrant to dig into what it was doing at the time of the crash. I'm not even sure that you'd get anything useful, though. Probably more effective to subpoena the records of calls and text activity from the phone company.
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    True, but we're talking about working an accident here. Who wants to do all that work??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamalama View Post
    True, but we're talking about working an accident here. Who wants to do all that work??
    Outside a fatal or serious injury crash you're right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Outside a fatal or serious injury crash you're right.

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    Of course silly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamalama View Post
    Amen
    Apologies on making you decipher that, my phone sucks to type on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    Apologies on making you decipher that, my phone sucks to type on.
    I knew exactly what you meant... I think lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Here I suspect it won't last a 4th Amendment challenge. .
    But but he is a State Senator. That old rag is so outdated.

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    How about a simple case where the phone is locked. Can the owner refuse to give the unlock code? You can look at the phone all you want, but unless you can unlock it, it won't do any good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    How about a simple case where the phone is locked. Can the owner refuse to give the unlock code? You can look at the phone all you want, but unless you can unlock it, it won't do any good.
    We shouldn't discuss technical capabilities here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    We shouldn't discuss technical capabilities here.

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    Copy that, my bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Copy that, my bad.
    No bad, good question. Thanks for understanding.

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    Phone analysis is quite common here. In the case of traffic collisions the phones of all drivers involved are taken for analysis but only in the case os fatal or serious collisions.
    We also seize the phones and sim cards of people arrested for offences of serious crime most often it's for possess with intent to supply controlled drugs.
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