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Police Officer For Driving With Expired License

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David Leon Riley was pulled over by a police officer for driving with expired license plates. Once pulled over for operating the vehicle without valid registration, the officer discovered that Riley also had a suspended license. Following police policy for suspended licenses, the officer impounded Riley’s car. At that point another officer performed a mandatory inventory search of the car that led to the discovery of two handguns under the hood of the vehicle. Police proceeded to arrest Riley for the possession of loaded firearms. The arresting officer also found and seized a cell phone in Riley’s possession along with items associated with the “Bloods” street gang. Photographs and videos accessed on the cell phone connected Riley to the…show more content…
Before his trial he attempted to remove all incriminating evidence from his cell phone. Riley argued against the police evidence stating that the searches of his cell phone were a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Under the Fourth Amendment people should be free from unreasonable searches unless probable cause is found. He believed the police’s lack of a warrant before conducting their searches was a valid defense for the charges against him. Riley’s claim was stricken down by the trial court. During the trial police officers presented the previously collected photographs and videos from Riley’s phone. Videos and photographs from the cell phone attempted to prove that Riley was member of the “Bloods”, that he was involved with the shooting, and that the shooting was motivated by his gang affiliation. He was convicted on all three counts with an additional 15 years to life in prison. The California Court of Appeal affirmed using the Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Diaz as support. In People v. Diaz the ruling was that a warrantless search of cell phones is acceptable by the Fourth Amendment as long as the phone was directly in possession of the arrestee. Riley requested an appeal by the California Supreme Court but was denied the review. The Court faced the question of whether the search of Riley’s cell phone violated his Fourth Amendment rights to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court of United States reversed and remanded
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