Stingray Cellphone Surveillance Evidence Ruled Unconstitutional
Category: Maryland Criminal Defense
April 3, 2016
Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyers have identified as many as 200 people who were sent to prison based on cellphone surveillance evidence used by police that the Maryland Court of Specials Appeals has now ruled was obtained illegally.
Maryland’s court is the first to require a warrant for covert cellphone tracking.
Maryland Cellphone Surveillance Requires Search Warrant
The Court Of Special Appeals ruled that Baltimore police violated the U.S. Constitution when they used a cellphone surveillance device without first obtaining a search warrant.
The device, called “stingray,” mimics a cell phone tower, triggering all cell phones in an area to connect with it and determine where a particular phone is located.
It was the first time an appeals court had weighed in directly on the legality of phone-trackers that have been widely used by police agencies for nearly a decade.
The Court held that “cellphone users have an objectively reasonable expectation that their cellphones will not be used as real-time tracking devices, through the direct and active interference of law enforcement.”
That decision could imperil hundreds of criminal convictions in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland, where police have used cellphone surveillance.
Maryland prosecutors can ask the state’s highest court to overturn the Court of Appeals’ decision.
If your cellphone has been searched by police in Carroll County, Maryland, then contact a Westminster Criminal Defense Attorney to help you suppress any evidence illegally seized.
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