2014 Changes to Police Access to Certain Telecommunications Device Information

HEA 1384 amends statutes related to police officers extracting information or extracting data from telecommunications devices under certain scenarios and will go into effect July 1, 2014.

IC 9-21-8-59 involves using a telecommunications device to text or email while operating a motor vehicle without a hands free or voice operated technology.  Specifically, IC 9-21-8-59(b) was amended such that a police officer must have consent from the person to:

  1. confiscate a telecommunications device to determine if there was compliance with this section;
  2. confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section; or
  3. extract or otherwise download information from a telecommunications device for a violation of this section unless: (A) the police officer has probable cause to believe that the telecommunications device has been used in the commission of a crime; (B) the information is extracted or otherwise downloaded under a valid search warrant; or (C) otherwise authorized by law.

Similarly, IC 34-25-5-3 was amended such that if a law enforcement officer detains a person because the law enforcement believes the person has committed an infraction or ordinance violation, the law enforcement may not, without the consent of the person, extract or otherwise download information from a cellular telephone or another wireless or cellular communications device possessed by the person at the time time person is detained unless:

  1. the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the cellular telephone or other wireless or cellular communications device has been used in the commission of a crime;
  2. the information is extracted or otherwise downloaded under a valid search warrant; or
  3. otherwise authorized by law.
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