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If you are looking to buy drugs over a mobile device and trying to prevent a mobile phone drug bust, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You need to take some cellular phone security and safety measures because law enforcement has been known to use all evidence at their disposal, even cell phone data.

It happens a lot– a patrolman just goes for your phone and starts browsing through your text messages to know who your dealer is. With no interest for your personal confidentiality, many members of the police force will just respond to a telephone call or even send texts to try and create more offenses or another drug bust.

Just recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that cell phone data is protected and the cops ought to get a warrant to search your mobile phone. Anything else is in direct violation with the United State Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

“Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life.’ The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” For police who feel they need to have access to a suspect’s device, Roberts had one simple instruction: “Get a warrant.”

Exceptions are sometimes made to constitutional protections. This is due to the intensity of the continuous drug war. Most judges will typically be on the side of the government. Not all cops play by the rules. Just because the High court said police must now alter the way they do their jobs doesn’t mean they will– or at least not immediately. One must also take into consideration that most snitch deals are never prosecuted and a police officer may look at your phone anyway just to see who is in your network of friends and colleagues without thinking to make use of the evidence against you.

Warning, first a disclaimer: a warrant and a skilled forensic technologist can find virtually anything on your IPhone, IOS, Android device; however, with the right settings/apps/common sense you may be able to make it through most scenarios (i.e. traffic stops and common police encounters) without putting yourself in more difficulty than the initial detention.

Avoiding A Cell Phone Drug Bust

So, what is a law-abiding civilian like yourself supposed to do if a policeman tries to spy on your phone without having a warrant? Here’s what you can do:

Don’t give consent. If a law enforcement officer starts to search your mobile phone, calmly and agreeably inform the police officer that his search is in violation of the Constitution under the court’s Riley decision (Riley v. United States is the name of the court case that triggered this new search warrant rule.) Don’t stop there. If apprehended, you should constantly explain to the arresting officer and any eye witness close-by that you do not consent to this search. This helps make sure that there is no doubt or ambiguity about whether you’ve allowed the search. You don’t want to stay in a situation where there’s any doubt.

If you’re not under arrest– say, you just got pulled over for a broken tail light– then you are absolutely not obligated  to consent to a search of your cell phone, your automobile, or your person.

Don’t get rowdy. Do not physically resist a policeman or try to actually stop the search. In an arrest situation, you have no power, and you’re just making the situation worse by resisting. If a policeman considers to search your cell phone even if you did not provide consent, your best action is to let him or her do this, but keep in mind of the police officials who performed the search and then consult with a lawyer. This battle can be dealt with properly in the courtroom.

Get a password. A password is the bare minimum you have to keep spying eyes away from your data. It may be a drag to log into your mobile phone every time you wish to do something, but if you don’t want your family, friends, and nosy police snooping, it’s best to make use of a password. As shared above, the police officers have no qualms about reading your sms message and setting up your colleagues in a fake drug bust.

Encrypting your phone. Encryption turns your cell phone data into rubbish, leaving it completely unreadable. When you power on your cell phone, you’ll need to enter the encryption PIN or password, which is the same as your phone’s lock-screen PIN or password. Your phone uses your PIN or password to decrypt your data, making things understandable again. If someone doesn’t know the encryption PIN or password, they can’t access your data.

Keep your phone free from incriminating messages. You should be very careful if you get a random text from someone who you have no idea that brings up drugs. Always believe that the source of a suspicious text is the authorities. If you are not ONE HUNDRED PERCENT sure who is texting you, do not reply. If you are mostly sure and it’s about something most likely illegal, don’t respond. As revealed a couple of times throughout this blog, the authorities can use your friend’s cellular phone to bust you– and they will.

Make use of texting apps with privacy features. There are a variety of different apps and programs that will delete texts off of the receiver’s phone. Texts are forever, and the statute of limitations for drug cases are usually a few years.

Also consider a VPN, which will conceal your IP address and keep your online activity a hidden. Lots of people like to use them for public Wi-Fi safety, and the added bonus is it will make advertiser tracking more challenging.

The Catch

Despite the strong privacy safety and securities established in the court’s Riley decision, police officers still can search your mobile phone without a warrant in a few scenarios. These are called “exigent circumstances,” and include the abduction of a child, suspecting a person is in imminent harm, or that there is some impending threat of evidence elimination. Fortunately those kinds of circumstances are very rare.

If your rights have been stepped on and you need help, get in touch with a top New Mexico attorney that has established a strong track record and who has great knowledge of how to protect your constitutional rights.


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