Mr. Carpenter was charged with traveling to meet a minor, solicitation of a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor. Upon his arrest, officers seized his cell phone and searched it without a warrant. Mr. Carpenter later challenged the use of the evidence obtained from his phone, arguing that it violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Mr. Carpenter also cited recent cases from both the Florida and U.S. Supreme Court, which held that warrantless cell phone searches were unconstitutional. The State argued that this Court’s and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision disallowing warrantless searches of cell phones had not yet been decided at the time of Mr. Carpenter’s search. The trial court suppressed the evidence but the First District Court of Appeal overturned that decision, ruling that the officer had acted in good faith, using the law in effect at the time of the arrest.

For more oral arguments, go to our Florida Supreme Court page.


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Barbara J. Pariente C. Alan Lawson cell phones Charles T. Canady Florida Supreme Court Jorge Labarga Miami Peggy A. Quince police officers/law enforcement police searches/search warrants R. Fred Lewis Ricky Polston Ross Keene Virginia Harris