Can the Police Use Cell Phone Data as Evidence in DWI Cases?

Can the Police Use Cell Phone Data as Evidence in DWI Cases?Your cell phone records may become part of your trial for DWI in Texas. In December 2015, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the State can obtain historical data from a person’s cell service provider without a warrant. In Ford v State, the Court reasoned that a person does not have any expectation of privacy in the records a service provider keeps with regard cell cite location.

Most of us use our mobile phones daily and take them with us wherever we go. Few of us consider that with every call we make or receive, every text message we send, and every time we access the internet, records are created of our general location relative to towers and/or satellites.

It is now the law of Texas that the government can obtain this data from phone carriers without a warrant.

This can easily affect a person charged with a Texas DWI. Often when arrested, a person either doesn’t want to reveal where they were before the stop or how long they were at any certain location that day or evening. Some drivers give false information when they are stopped. The government can now verify these stories by tracking our movements throughout the day – no warrant necessary.

This new case law is now a fact of life for those of us living in Texas, and we should all carefully consider the false sense of privacy we tend to have as we go about our daily lives. In a case where a person is accused of a criminal charge, like DWI, where there may be some question about where a person was or how long they were at any location, this information can be very useful in a government prosecution.

Anyone arrested in Texas for a DWI must obtain the best lawyer they can find.  The rules make it easier and easier for the government to pursue DWI prosecutions, and the punishments get more and more harsh. All drunk driving charges begin with some kind of seizure by the government.  In addition to expertise in blood testing science and breath testing procedures, a lawyer must be an expert in search and seizure and be able to keep the government honest and fair in how they pursue charges against people in any charge.

Call Jim Medley & Associates today!

Written by

Jim Medley

For more than 20 years, attorney Jim Medley has perfected his craft in the field of criminal justice. He garnered extensive knowledge during his 12 years as a police officer in Texas, and applied that knowledge during his time as a professor of criminal law and criminal justice. Mr. Medley brings a unique skill set to the table, and as a result, he would be an invaluable asset in the courtroom should you need DWI or criminal defense in Houston.

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