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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 24461
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Can law enforcement view text messages with just the phone

Customer Question

Can law enforcement view text messages with just the phone number, or will they need possession of the phone?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 10 months ago.
Hello, They need possession of the phone and a warrant to search its contents.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 10 months ago.
Are you asking whether they can just obtain your messages fr
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 10 months ago.
from your carrier somehow?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 10 months ago.
If so, carriers don't store text messages more than a few days. So once they are removed from the phone, generally the police cannot contact your carrier and get them. However, even during the time that they are retrievable, the police could not get to your text messages without a court order. So they'd have to have probable cause and convince a judge to issue a subpoena for them.

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