Smallwood v. StateAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The trial court sentenced Defendant to fifty years' incarceration on the robbery conviction and fifteen years' incarceration on the possession conviction. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress the search of information stored within his cell phone incident to his arrest. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court's decision in the admissibility of images found on Defendant's cell phone but certified a question to the Supreme Court as a matter of great public importance. The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the court of appeal and remanded, holding (1) the holding in United States v. Robinson does not allow a police officer to search through photographs contained within a cell phone that is on an arrestee's person at the time of a valid arrest; and (2) while law enforcement officers properly separated and assumed possession of a cell phone from Defendant's person during the search incident to arrest, a warrant was required before the information, data, and content of the cell phone could be accessed and searched by law enforcement.