cell phone, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyWe live in a world that is more connected than it has ever been. With a few taps on a smartphone, it is possible to access virtually any piece of information and to connect people from around the globe. One of the most pressing questions of the digital age, however, is in regard to protecting personal privacy. Do we forfeit our privacy by using our mobile devices? According to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding a robbery conviction, the answer to that question is “no.”

Constant Signals

Any time that your cell phone is on, it is sending and receiving signals to and from cell towers in the area. These signals let the towers know that your phone is turned on and ready to receive incoming calls or messages. They may also be using the towers to access the internet so apps like Facebook and Instagram, or even basic email, can be updated. What you may not have considered is that every time your phone connects to a nearby tower, a record of that connection is made.

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search, East Hartford criminal defense attorneyThe Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The operative word in that phrase, however, is “unreasonable.” Over the last 240 years, courts at every level have attempted to define what constitutes an unreasonable search or seizure in a variety of situations. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court was presented with two conflicting interpretations of the Fourth Amendment—one as it applies to a person’s home and the other as it applies to a person’s vehicle.

Collins v. Virginia

The case originated in Albemarle County, Virginia in June 2013 where a rider on a distinctive orange and black motorcycle fled and eluded police at high rates of speed twice in the period of several weeks. The police used found the person they believed to be in possession of the motorcycle and that the motorcycle was likely to have been stolen. Using social media, the police were able to link the suspected owner/rider to an orange and black motorcycle. Social media also allowed police to find an address for the suspect.

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