Man Spends 44 Days Behind Bars After Refusing To Give Police His Phone
A man in Florida recently got out of jail after spending 44 days behind for refusing to give police his phone’s passcode.
William Montanez was pulled over for a traffic violation last summer and admitted he had a joint in his car.
The officers demanded that Montanez open his phone after they spotted a suspicious text message, but Montanez refused.
The police officers demanded his passcode, but Montanez refused again, believing the police would search his private messages and pictures.
Several days later deputies showed up with a search warrant.
When Montanez still refused to give up his pass code in court, a judge found him in contempt.
He spent nearly a month and a half behind bars before charges were dropped.
Montanez’s attorney says forcing Montanez to physically tell police his passcode would violate his 5th amendment rights, which protects Americans from incriminating themselves.
While the law says police can search your cellphone if they have warrant, courts are still weighing whether or not officers can force you to tell them your passcode.
Currently there are no laws on the books and state supreme courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia are all weighing the issue.