Have You Been Charged With A Serious Crime?

How can the police access information on your phone without physically possessing it?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Criminal Law

You may know that police who are investigating a crime can request a warrant to search a person’s phone as part of that investigation. If the judge agrees they have sufficient reason they can then examine it for anything that might help them build their case.

Yet you might now know that the police can often still access the information on a person’s phone without ever needing to see or hold that phone.

Your phone history doesn’t only live on your phone

Let’s say the police want to see who you called. Instead of looking through your recent call history on the phone, they could just request your call log from your service provider.

If the police want to see which discussion groups you have been participating in through your social media account, they can ask a judge to subpoena the company and get that same information.

If the police want to see which pictures you have had on your phone, they could ask a judge for access to the cloud where your phone might automatically upload copies of photos.

It is very hard to remove all traces of your activity

Whatever you do on your phone likely lives on somewhere, despite your best efforts to keep things private or delete them. 

While the police may be able to access this information it does not mean they always have the right to. If you believe they did not get the appropriate permissions or did not have a valid reason to seek permission, then you may be able to ask the court to disallow any evidence illegally obtained. As with all legal matters, it is wise to get help to explore your options.