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Supreme Court to decide on warrantless cell phone searches

- Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether police need a warrant to search the cellphones of people they have arrested.

Justices said Friday they'll hear appeals in two cases in which criminal defendants were convicted and sentenced at least in part on the strength of evidence obtained by warrantless searches of their cellphones.

At issue is a 40-year-old high court ruling allowing warrantless searches of items people are carrying when they're arrested. Lower federal and state courts have differed over whether the ruling should apply to increasingly sophisticated cellphones, including even more advanced smartphones.

The cases will be argued in April and decided by late June.

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