On Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that law enforcement officials do need a warrant to search an arrested person’s cell phone after they’ve been jailed.
The ruling did not decide whether it is legal or not for police to search a suspect’s phone at the incidence of arrest, which is currently a hotly contested subject.
The Supreme Court is set to decide that matter later this year.
For now, however, seven Texas appeals court judges have ruled that a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy over the contents of their cell phone while the phone is being stored in the jail property room.
An eighth judge wrote a dissenting opinion.