I’m getting so used to courts allowing warrantless searches of phones that I found myself surprised when they held that a search of a man’s pockets during a Terry stop violated his Fourth Amendment rights:
A Shawnee County conviction on a possession of methamphetamine charge was overturned Friday when the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the police search that found the drugs was illegal.
The high court reversed the district court decision and Court of Appeals affirmation of the 2007 conviction of Shaun E. Spagnola on the grounds that his Fourth Amendment protection from illegal search and seizure was violated.
The court found that the Topeka police search of Spagnola’s pockets, where drugs were found, exceeded a reasonable standard by which officers can pat down a suspect in an attempt to secure an officer’s safety.
Read more on The Topeka Capital-Journal.