Our Firm Wins Appeal Suppressing Evidence Found in Unlawful Cellphone Search

Today, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a decision in one of our cases that will result in sexual exploitation charges being dismissed against our client.

Our client was pulled over during a traffic stop in Athens, Georgia for suspicion of DUI. During the traffic stop, police officers seized and searched his cell phone.

We argued to the trial judge that the search of our client’s cell phone was unconstitutional. The judge denied our motion and found that images later found on the cell phone could be used to prosecute our client for sexual exploitation of children.

We appealed the trial judge’s ruling to the Georgia Court of Appeals. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals found that the search of our client’s cell phone was prohibited by the Constitution. The Court also held that a later search of the cell phone pursuant to a search warrant was similarly improper. Because the search was unlawful, all of the illegal images found on the phone had to be suppressed.

We believe this is the first time that a Georgia court has reversed the search of a cell phone seized during a traffic stop. We are obviously pleased by the Court’s decision and look forward to our client’s case being dismissed without further delay.

Had the case proceeded to trial, our client would have been facing five to twenty years in prison for each picture found on the cell phone.