Though you may not pay close attention to headlines in the legal world, you may want to take note of a recent opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The landmark case of Carpenter v. United States, which arose out of events and criminal allegations in Michigan, has significant implications for anyone who is charged in a crime based upon cell phone data. In sum, the finding expands your privacy rights because it limits the type of information police can obtain without a warrant. You should entrust your case with a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense lawyer, but some important information may help you understand your rights.
Telecommunications providers capture and archive data of customers for billing and other legitimate business purposes. A user’s phone bounces off the closest tower and delivers the time, date, and location information back to the company. These details can be very useful for law enforcement investigating the whereabouts of a person who is a suspect in a crime. Cell phone location data is exactly what Detroit, MI state and federal agents used to identify and arrest Mr. Carpenter. He was eventually convicted and lost on appeal, at which point he and his defense attorneys took the case to SCOTUS.