Ruling allows warrantless search of probationer's cellphone

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Posted at 9:59 AM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 12:59:22-04

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Supreme Court decision in a privacy rights case from Pima County says authorities could legally conduct a warrantless search of the cellphone of a man who was on probation.

The decision Friday overturned a trial judge's ruling that prosecutors could not present evidence that a probation surveillance officer obtained from the man's phone.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people have broad expectations of privacy concerning their cellphones and that authorities generally need a warrant to search them.

But the Arizona high court ruled that probationers have a diminished expectation of privacy and that the cellphone search was reasonably necessary to help determine whether a man was complying with probation terms.