Category Archives: Criminal Law

Strip searches of the mind: Why the government can search your laptop at the border

Can the Government search your laptop computer when you cross the border?  Yep. It’s called the border search exception.1 No warrant or reasonable suspicion is required, and it doesn’t just apply to laptops.  Anything, including your international mail,2 may be searched without a warrant if it crosses the U.S. border. The U.S. government’s greatest power […]

Open WIFI Access Points — Should you use them, or is that illegal?

You are away from home or you office yet you need the internet, and you need it fast.  Your smartphone has it, but your files and program are on your laptop.  No sweat, you’re downtown near a bunch of apartments.  You see there is an open WIFI access point called “linksys.” But should you use […]

TSA Scans & Patdowns: Do these violate the 4th Amendment? Maybe.

Searches performed at airports prior to boarding planes have just gotten more intrusive—both physically and pictorially.1   The TSA2 has implemented new rules requiring airplane passengers to submit to either a full-body scanner or an ‘enhanced’ pat-down procedure.  Janet Napolitano, head of the TSA’s parent Department, the Department of Homeland Security, has defended the new […]

Cell Phones, the Fourth Amendment, and the Ohio Supreme Court

Arrested with an iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre, or some other smartphone on you?  Were you carrying your fancy new Netbook? Officers can search you upon arrest in order to protect themselves, inventory your stuff, and prevent evidence from disappearing.  All of these searches can be done without a warrant. What about your searching your electronic […]