MI: Separate SW for cell phone contents required when another potential crime discovered during search

Execution of a search warrant on a cell phone for one crime doesn’t permit a search of the cell phone for another crime. A separate warrant has to be obtained. The first warrant does not extinguish the owner’s reasonable expectation of privacy in the phone for all purposes. The phone was searched with Cellebrite. People v. Hughes, 2020 Mich. LEXIS 2307 (Dec. 28, 2020):

The issue presented here is whether, when the police obtain a warrant to search digital data from a cell phone for evidence of a crime, they are later permitted to review that same data for evidence of another crime without obtaining a second warrant. We conclude–in light of the particularity requirement embodied in the Fourth Amendment and given meaning in the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v California, 573 US 373; 134 S. Ct. 2473; 189 L. Ed. 2d 430 (2014) (addressing the “sensitive” nature of cell-phone data)–that a search of digital cell-phone data pursuant to a warrant must be reasonably directed at obtaining evidence relevant to the criminal activity alleged in that warrant. Any search of digital cell-phone data that is not so directed, but instead is directed at uncovering evidence of criminal activity not identified in the warrant, is effectively a warrantless search that violates the Fourth Amendment absent some exception to the warrant requirement. Here, the officer’s review of defendant’s cell-phone data for incriminating evidence relating to an armed robbery was not reasonably directed at obtaining evidence regarding drug trafficking– the criminal activity alleged in the warrant–and therefore the search for that evidence was outside the purview of the warrant and thus violative of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand to that Court to determine whether defendant is entitled to relief based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel.

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