If my phone was recently stolen out of my car and the police recovered it but there are some incriminating things on it, what should I do?

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2014

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If my phone was recently stolen out of my car and the police recovered it but there are some incriminating things on it, what should I do?

The police called me to tell me they have it. They also want me to sit down and talk with them. Am I allowed to just ask for my phone and leave? I have some incriminating things on it and I’m afraid they looked through it. Am I able to get it and just leave without them asking questions?

Asked on October 25, 2014 under Criminal Law, Michigan


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It all depends on how they came to obtain your cell phone and if it was pursuant to a legal search and seizure or an exception to the warrant requirement.  I would not, if I were you, go to retrieve your phone without an attorney.  Have an attorney call on your behalf to see if a) you are being charged or arrested and/or b) if the police intend on questioning you.  If there is no probable cause currently, chances are you can take your phone and go.  If the police were able to retrieve stuff, it may be a matter of time before they seek you out with an arrest warrant.  Talk to a criminal defense attorney and have this attorney contact the police as your legal counsel.

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