Calif. bill wouldn't limit cell phone evidence

Calif. legislation would allow cell phone evidence even if officers extracted the information without asking a judge


By Bob Egelko
The San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — Legislation that would require police to get a warrant before searching a cell phone wouldn't prevent prosecutors from introducing evidence of the phone's contents, even if officers defied the law and extracted the information without asking a judge.

The bill's author, state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, acknowledged that his SB914 lacks the usual penalty for an illegal search - that the evidence be excluded from court. Because of a prosecution-sponsored ballot measure approved by California voters nearly 30 years ago that narrowed defendants' rights, the evidence could still be admitted. But Leno said he's confident that police will comply with the measure if it becomes law.

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