Until last week, it was a practice by law enforcement officers in Georgia to locate fleeing suspects or establish someone’s location by contacting cell phone providers, who would willingly triangulate a suspect’s whereabouts using the information “pinged” back and forth to cell phone towers by that suspect’s phone. A decision by the United States Supreme Court last week in the case of Carpenter v. United States, however, limits the use of that practice.
Now, the government acquisition of cell-site records is clearly a search and must comply with the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizures without a warrant issued by a magistrate judge after he finds probable cause. In the case of Mr. Carpenter, the government did not have probable cause to search the cell-site records and did not obtain a warrant for the records.
If you have been arrested and feel that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, contact an attorney.
Archie Speights is a co-founder and lead criminal law attorney of Speights Law in Cherokee County. He is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who handles an assortment of major felony cases, including murder, sex crimes, aggravated assault, and drug crimes in the state of Georgia.