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Technology and the Law | Drug Defense

Drug Defense: Does Technology Affect The Law?

Technology changes every single day. These changes have impacts on crimes and investigations. Smart phones have recently introduced pressure-sensitive technology. What can one do with pressure-sensitive technology? Weigh items directly on their smart phone device. What kind of items? Anything. What if any impact does this technological advancement have on search warrants and police investigations?

When people are arrested for drug related offenses, investigators look to the amount of drugs in the person’s possession and any other items that could indicate dealing activity. A common item indicating drug dealing activity is a scale, used to measure and ultimately package drugs for sale. Cell phones are also often used as the primary source of communication between buyers and sellers so those are often the subject of investigation as well.

Given the Supreme Court ruling in Riley v. California, officers must obtain a search warrant for a person’s cell phone—in order to search through the content located on the phone. 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2482 (2014). Sure text messages and call logs show a lot if buyers and sellers are communicating that way, but in the future, as technology evolves, officers may also seek other information. Specifically, law enforcement may seek to look into the phone data to determine what has been weighed, how much did the substance or material weigh, when it was weighed, and even GPS coordinates could show the location where the substance or material was weighed—making it easier for law enforcement to track the dealers.

Our legal team is here to help you. We serve the Wisconsin Fox Valley area and beyond including Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay, Waupaca, Chilton, Fond du Lac, Shawano and beyond. Consult us for Drug Defense.

Call Petit & Dommershausen at 920-739-9900.

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