No Warrant Needed to Search Probationer’s Cell Phone

The Fourth District Court of Appeal for the state of California has issued a ruling that, at first blush, appears to disregard the recent ruling of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a nearly identical issue. At issue in the People v. Sandee case is whether a warrantless search of a probationer’s cell phone is valid under the Fourth Amendment waiver that probationers consent to as a prerequisite to being granted probation.

The California appellate court explained that under California law, and the precedent set by the California supreme court, probationers should expect that their Fourth Amendment waiver will allow a cell phone to be searched attendant to a probation search.

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