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Do I have a constitutional right to privacy in the location of my cell phone?

No, is the short answer according to a recent decision by the Indiana Supreme Court.  As recently reported by Dan Carden of the Northwest Indiana Times, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that individuals have no privacy expectation under the Fourth Amendment in the location date that is collected by their telephone carrier while their device is in use.  http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/supreme-court-rules-police-don-t-need-warrant-to-get/article_a46be572-fdb3-5d34-bfe2-fadec26962e7.html (last visited May 5, 2017).

In Zanders v. State, the Supreme Court addressed a circumstance where police, in an effort to locate an armed robbery suspect who was at large, obtained records from Sprint, the suspect’s cell phone provider.  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05041701lhr.pdf (last visited May 5, 2017).  And police obtained that data from Sprint without obtaining a search warrant.  Zanders asserted that obtaining that information violated his rights under the federal and state constitutions.  However, the Court disagreed and held that under federal precedent, the Fourth Amendment does not require police to obtain a search warrant to gather information that an individual has voluntarily relinquished to a third party.  However, two of the Justices on the Court asserted that the search did in fact violate the defendant’s rights under the Indiana Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 11.  In light of advancing technology and law enforcement techniques, there is little doubt that this area of the law will develop and continue to be explored. 

Looking for an Indiana criminal defense attorney that understands your constitutional rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your constitutional or criminal rights have been violated.  We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case.  Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.