Seo v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court holding Defendant in contempt when Defendant refused to unlock her iPhone for a detective, holding that forcing Defendant to unlock her iPhone would violate her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The State charged Defendant of several offenses. When Defendant was placed under arrest, law enforcement took her iPhone. Believing it contained incriminating evidence, a detective got a warrant ordering Defendant to unlock her iPhone. When Defendant refused, the trial court held her in contempt. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) allowing the State to force Defendant to unlock her iPhone for law enforcement would provide law enforcement with information it did not already know, which the State could use in its prosecution against her; and (2) this result is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment's protection from compelled self-incrimination.