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Riley v. California

United States Supreme Court
134 S.Ct. 2473 (2014)

Riley v. California


Police searched David Riley (defendant) incident to an arrest and seized his smartphone from his pocket. The police searched the smartphone and used items found on it as evidence at Riley’s trial on shooting charges brought by the State of California (plaintiff). Riley was convicted. On appeal, the state court of appeal determined that the warrantless search was a valid search incident to arrest. In a consolidated case, Brima Wurie (defendant) had his flip-phone seized from his person incident to an arrest for drug sales. Police used items seized from the flip-phone to secure a search warrant for Wurie’s residence. The district court admitted evidence found in the residence at trial, but on appeal, the federal court of appeals held that the evidence was the fruit of an illegal search of the flip-phone. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on both cases.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

Concurrence (Alito, J.)

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