Can the police legally take a person’s cell phone without a warrant?

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Can the police legally take a person’s cell phone without a warrant?

My son ex-girlfriend sent him pictures of her naked. He didn’t send any of him back. They are both under 18. The mom of the gf found out and decided to come to my house about this. Apparently, they must have broken up. There was no parent at home when this had taken place. The girlfriend mom called the police over to my house, they knocked on the door to talk to my son. They called me but apparently didn’t tell me everything that was going on. However, in the end my son’s phone was taken for evidence. Is this legal? My son didn’t have any parent there while this happened.

Asked on April 12, 2016 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No warrnat is needed if something was visibly evidence of a crime (e.g. if the police saw the naked pictures on the phone) or if that fact that it was evidence of a crime was admitted to the police (e.g. if you son admitted the presence of the pictures to the police). 


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