If the recent scandal surrounding Facebook is any indication, your privacy is in jeopardy. But it is not just Facebook or any other social media platform that threatens your safety, but also law enforcement surveillance that seems to be growing and evolving at an exponential rate every year in Los Angeles and all across California.
Here at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm, our clients accused of various crimes have been astonished by the amount of sensitive and private information law enforcement has collected about them without their consent. The practice of law enforcement conducting covert surveillance is nothing new – in fact, it has been depicted hundreds of times in Hollywood movies and TV shows – but people do not seem to take this issue seriously.
If you are being accused of a crime, you need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side, because law enforcement is always one step ahead of you. And now that nearly 70 percent of the American population has a smartphone, gathering information about your crimes has become a whole lot easier for law enforcement in California.
Regardless of what means of communication you use on your phone – Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, texting, or any other social media platform or messenger – the fact that you are using a cell phone makes it much easier for law enforcement to track you down or learn more about you by snooping on your private data.
Our criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles explains that even though using data from criminal suspects’ cell phones usually requires a search warrant or consent, this is not always the case. In reality, law enforcement has no problem with conducting surveillance without you even suspecting it.
So what is the role of your cell phone when you are being accused of a crime? “Law enforcement cannot lawfully hack your cell phone if you are a suspect, as this would violate the Fourth Amendment,” explains our best criminal defense attorney in California at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm. “The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures.”
Even if you were arrested for a crime, law enforcement can access everything on your cell phone only with your permission. Therefore, the police and law enforcement cannot lawfully access the contents of your smartphone without your consent or a warrant. However, given that criminals and terrorists heavily rely on their cell phones and use it to carry out crimes or terror attacks, the police may choose to disregard your Fourth Amendment rights and review the contents of your cell phone under the pretext that it is an emergency situation.
In other cases, the contents of your cell phone may be reviewed without your knowledge. However, if law enforcement will be using any evidence obtained from your phone without your permission, knowledge, or a warrant, you need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained illegally from your phone.
It is extremely difficult to prove that law enforcement illegally searched or reviewed your phone, especially when you are behind the bars and/or are in emotional distress by the fact that you are being accused of a crime. That is why seeking legal help should be your first step to protect yourself and your freedom. Do not underestimate the power of law enforcement in California, and do not be naive to think that what they may find in your phone will not be used against you.
Contact the Okabe & Haushalter law firm to schedule a free consultation and speak about your case immediately. Call at 310-430-7799 or complete this contact form.