Your Austin Attorney

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  → Police can serve warrants to tech companies 

Police can serve warrants to tech companies 

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

When police officers serve warrants, they often serve them to the suspects. For example, if the police want to look through someone’s phone, they can get a warrant so that they don’t need the person’s consent. This could force the person to allow investigators to access their device.

But one very important thing to remember is that the police may not even need to activate the device. In 2024, a lot of information is simply stored in the cloud. Tech companies have gathered consumer data, and the police can approach them with a warrant and compel them to turn it over. In this sense, they could get the information that they are searching for without ever actually turning on the phone.

How could this happen?

For example, say that you have been accused of selling prescription drugs. Police officers allege that you were selling them via Facebook and that you were sending direct messages to people negotiating prices and things of this nature. They want the data from your phone, but it is locked and you refuse to give them consent to search it.

In order to get that information, the police officers could approach Facebook with a warrant. Facebook may then turn over all of the direct message records, as copies of those messages are stored in the cloud.

This helps to show why it’s so important to consider the things that you write online, as they are never really gone and can be accessed in multiple ways. It also demonstrates the need to know about your criminal defense options when facing these types of complex charges and accusations.