This case shows one of the downsides of constantly having a cellphone at your side, pocket, or hip.
A man is arrested. Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s opinion in United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973), "[a] full search of the person, his effects, and the area within his immediate reach at the time of a lawful custodial arrest may be conducted without regard to any exigency or the seriousness of the offense, and regardless of any probability that the search will yield a weapon or evidence of the crime for which the person is arrested." As part of a valid search incident to a lawful arrest, however, can an arresting officer search the contents of the arrestee’s cell phone, and if so, how thorough can that search be? Those were the questions posed to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in United States v. Wurie, 2009 WL 1176946 (D.Mass. 2009).
Colin Miller, Can You Search Me Now? 23 May 2009.