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Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32019
Experience:  Former administrative hearing officer
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Can the police turn over names of students to their school

Customer Question

Can the police turn over names of students to their school from text messages exchanged with a drug dealer that they arrested?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.
Before I answer a bit more detail would be helpful please.
Did the dealer give consent to search his phone?
Did the police have a warrant to search the phone?
Thank you.
Loren
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not know the answers to both of these.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
That is ok.
The US Supreme Court held last year in a unanimous decision that police need a warrant to search a smart phone. So, unless there was a warrant or the owner of the phone consented to the search, the evidence seized from the phone could not be introduced in court against any other case.
Unfortunately, a school is not a court and there are no such restrictions as far as police turning over information to a school. They can turn the information over to the school.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive.  Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part.   As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
Best regards.
Loren
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Doesn't the police giving a private institution that type of information violate privacy and or a person in this case a minor'a civil rights
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for following up.
No, the messages are the property of the person whose phone has them. There is no protection to the sender and no special protection in that respect for minors. So, a privacy violation claim is not viable.
Best regards.
Loren
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can deleted text messages be retreived in this situation
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Probably not. Especially if there has been activity on the phone after the deletions, which would overwrite the deleted messages.
Best regards.
Loren
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
The other issue to consider is how much in IT resources they are willing to expend in retrieving the deleted text messages. It is not a simple procedure and it requires highly skilled IT.
If this is not a particularly serious amount of drugs, it is doubtful they would go to the lengths necessary to retrieve deleted text messages from someone's phone.
Best regards.
Loren
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Did you have further questions before you rate my answer?

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