After former Essex County Sheriff Officer, Robert Andrews, argued that it was unconstitutional for him to provide his cell phone passcode to law enforcement, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that it wasn’t. Andrews, who was under investigation for aiding a man who was also under investigation for drug trafficking, had a search warrant from law enforcement for his phone, however, once the authorities were in possession of it, they were unable to access any information due to the passcode on Andrews’ phone. Learn more about what happened below.
The Opinion and Subsequent Ruling
Justice Lee Solomon’s stated the following, “neither federal or state protections against compelled disclosure shield Andrews’ passcodes,” meaning that the state had the right to any incriminating content that was on Andrews’ phone. This new ruling, however, is setting a new precedent for criminal cases moving forward.
Individuals have a right to remain silent and to not incriminate themselves. In the dissenting opinion by Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, an individual’s right to privacy is “constantly shrinking,” arguing that Andrews had a right to not testify against himself.
What Does this Mean Moving Forward?
After this new ruling, law enforcement now have the ability to compel defendants to disclose their phone security information if they have a legal search warrant to do so. Criminal defense attorneys across New Jersey have spoken up and against this new measure, stating that criminal defendants should be “shielded from disclosing information that only exists in their mind, like a phone passcode.”
If you were arrested for a crime and believe your constitutional rights were violated, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side, advocating for your rights. Call Attorney Jill R. Cohen today: 856-858-1500.
Contact An Experienced Haddon Township Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Aggravated Assault Charges In New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen has successfully represented clients charged with aggravated assault in Cherry Hill, Winslow, Voorhees, Haddon Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 858-1500 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 210 Haddon Avenue, Westmont, NJ 08108.
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Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.