Wa law regarding vehicle search

Given our analysis, we do not reach the State's arguments concerning standing, ownership of the cell phone, and the State's right to impound the stolen vehicle. The issue is not abandonment in the strict property right sense but, rather, whether the defendant in leaving the property has relinquished his reasonable expectation of privacy so that the search and seizure is valid. Hoey, F. Courts ordinarily find that a defendant has relinquished his reasonable expectation of privacy by leaving property behind in an area where the defendant does not have a privacy interest.

Nonetheless, as observed by Professor LaFave although not directly addressing cell phones even an inadvertent leaving of effects in a public place, whether or not an abandonment in the true sense of that word, has historically amounted to a loss of any justified expectation of privacy. Hamilton, Mont. State, P. Kealey, 80 Wn. Whitaker, 58 Wn. The trial court correctly found that the conduct of Officer Ryan Yates, who recovered Mr. Samalia's cell phone from the console of the stolen car, was lawful, and from that concluded that Mr.

Samalia had not made the showing required for voluntary abandonment. California, ——— U. I dissent in this case because I conclude, considering Washington's search and seizure jurisprudence under article I, section 7 of the Washington constitution as a whole, that police must generally secure a warrant before conducting a search of data on a cell phone—even one that has been left behind in a place where its owner has no privacy interest. Gunwall, Wn. Boland, Wn. Jackson, Wn.

Supreme Court of Washington,En Banc.

The GPS tracking devices record all of these travels, and thus can provide a detailed picture of one's life. Jorden, Wn. In Hinton, the defendant was not the cell phone owner, but an individual who sent inculpatory text messages to a cell phone that police had seized following the arrest of a drug dealer. Armed with the drug dealer's phone, police responded to at least two incoming texts—one of them, Mr.

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Hinton's—by arranging meetings for drug transactions and then arresting the would-be purchasers at the proposed meeting site. Jones, ——— U. Text messages can encompass the same intimate subjects as phone calls, sealed letters, and other traditional forms of communication that have historically been strongly protected under Washington law. Although text message technology rendered Hinton's communication to Lee more vulnerable to invasion, technological advancements do not extinguish privacy interests that Washington citizens are entitled to hold.

Automobile Searches

What follows is only a portion of its discussion of why a search of data from a cell phone is unlike a search for other property:. The storage capacity of cell phones has several interrelated consequences for privacy. First, a cell phone collects in one place many distinct types of information—an address, a note, a prescription, a bank statement, a video—that reveal much more in combination than any isolated record.

Second, a cell phone's capacity allows even just one type of information to convey far more than previously possible. The sum of an individual's private life can be reconstructed through a thousand photographs labeled with dates, locations, and descriptions; the same cannot be said of a photograph or two of loved ones tucked into a wallet. Third, the data on a phone can date back to the purchase of the phone, or even earlier.

A person might carry in his pocket a slip of paper reminding him to call Mr. Jones; he would not carry a record of all his communications with Mr. Jones for the past several months, as would routinely be kept on a phone. An Internet search and browsing history, for example, can be found on an Internet-enabled phone and could reveal an individual's private interests or concerns—perhaps a search for certain symptoms of disease, coupled with frequent visits to WebMD.

Data on a cell phone can also reveal where a person has been. Indeed, a cell phone search would typically expose to the government far more than the most exhaustive search of a house: A phone not only contains in digital form many sensitive records previously found in the home; it also contains a broad array of private information never found in a home in any form—unless the phone is. The officer had confirmed the car was stolen and was following Mr.

Samalia while awaiting backup. Samalia's stop caused Officer Yates to activate his lights. After Mr. Samalia stepped out of his car and saw that Officer Yates had pulled out his service weapon and intended to detain him, Mr. Samalia fled. It is reasonable to assume that he either forgot about his cell phone in the console of the stolen car or decided that if he hoped to escape, retrieving the phone was not an option.

In my view, the Gunwall to Jorden line of cases, together with Hinton, collectively compel the conclusion that the voluminous private information likely to be found on a cell phone remains protected by article I, section 7 of the Washington constitution even when the phone is left behind in a place where the defendant has no privacy interest.

Requiring a search warrant will assure that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant is involved in criminal activity and that evidence of the criminal activity can be found in the data on the cell phone. In this case Officer Yates presumably would have been able to demonstrate probable cause to a magistrate, as long as he first spoke to the owner of the stolen car and confirmed that the phone did not belong to her or some innocent prior passenger.

Samalia's cell phone identified by the majority is the exigency exception that it notes was recognized in Riley. Majority at 7. McNeely, ——— U. Here, the State did not argue that exigent circumstances existed nor did the trial court find any. The only crime as to which Officer Yates had probable cause was Mr.

Samalia's possession of a stolen car, and the stolen car had been left behind. There was no evidence that Mr. Samalia was armed, was suspected of any other crime, or otherwise presented a danger. Samalia's cell phone was attenuated because officers obtained his name from the telephone of Deylene Telles, Mr. Samalia's former girlfriend. But the evidence was clear that officers identified Ms. Samalia's cell phone, and that it was only after using Mr.

Samalia's phone to lure her to a meeting at which they arrested her, used Mr.


Samalia's phone to call her, and then took her phone to see who it identified as the caller, that they obtained Mr. Samalia's name. Samalia as the driver of the stolen car from a photograph that he located using the name from Ms.


Telles's phone. But the officer had no prior knowledge of Mr.


Samalia nor did he have other information connecting Mr. Samalia to the stolen car. The independent source exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply. Johnson and Debra L. Eserjose, Wn.

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  7. The majority fails to explain any step along the causal chain leading to Officer Yates' review of Mr. Samalia's photograph that was independent of use of the cell phone. Kealey held that police have a right, if not an obligation to attempt to identify and notify the owner of lost property.

    Here, though, police did not identify themselves to Ms.

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    Telles as law enforcement seeking to return an abandoned telephone nor, according to the evidence, was that their purpose in searching data on the phone. Telles's testimony at Mr. Samalia's bench trial, at which the trial court revisited its suppression decision following a motion for reconsideration, was as follows:They were about to handcuff me and right when they—he was like—to walk around me, the other police officer had a phone and they called from that phone to my phone, and that's when my phone brought up a picture and a phone number and a name.

    By submitting this form, you agree to FindLaw. We respect your privacy. Thank you for subscribing! Explore Resources For Practice Management. Legal Technology. Corporate Counsel. STATE v. Reset A A Font size: Print. Court of Appeals of Washington,Division 3. Decided: March 05, David L. Controlled substances, search and seizure: RCW RCW Any such magistrate, when satisfied that there is reasonable cause, may also, upon like complaint made on oath, issue search warrant in the following cases, to wit:.

    As used in this subsection, "person or persons" includes both natural and judicial persons.

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    Formerly RCW All such warrants shall be directed to the sheriff of the county, or his or her deputy, or to any constable of the county, commanding such officer to search the house or place where the stolen property or other things for which he or she is required to search are believed to be concealed, which place and property, or things to be searched for shall be designated and described in the warrant, and to bring such stolen property or other things, when found, and the person in whose possession the same shall be found, before the magistrate who shall issue the warrant, or before some other magistrate or court having cognizance of the case.

    The magistrate may communicate permission to affix the magistrate's signature to the warrant by telephone, email, or any other reliable method. Search without warrant unlawful — Penalty. Restoration of stolen property to owner — Duties of officers. All property obtained by larceny, robbery or burglary, shall be restored to the owner; and no sale, whether in good faith on the part of the purchaser or not, shall divest the owner of his or her rights to such property; and it shall be the duty of the officer who shall arrest any person charged as principal or accessory in any robbery or larceny, to secure the property alleged to have been stolen, and he or she shall be answerable for the same, and shall annex a schedule thereof to his or her return of the warrant.

    Strip, body cavity searches — Legislative intent. It is the intent of the legislature to establish policies regarding the practice of strip searching persons booked into holding, detention, or local correctional facilities. It is the intent of the legislature to restrict the practice of strip searching and body cavity searching persons booked into holding, detention, or local correctional facilities to those situations where such searches are necessary.

    Effective date — 1st ex. Severability — 1st ex. Strip, body cavity searches — Definitions. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout RCW Effective date — Severability — 1st ex. Strip, body cavity searches — Warrant, authorization, report.

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    Authorization for the body cavity search may be obtained electronically: PROVIDED, That such electronic authorization shall be reduced to writing by the law enforcement officer seeking the authorization and signed by the ranking supervisor as soon as possible thereafter. No body cavity search shall be authorized or conducted unless these other methods do not satisfy the safety, security, or evidentiary concerns of the law enforcement agency.

    The report shall include:. The report shall be retained as part of the law enforcement agency's records. Strip, body cavity searches — Medical care not precluded. Nothing in RCW