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Name: People v. Diaz
Case #: B203034
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/30/2008
Subsequent History: rev. grant 10/28/08 (S166600)
Summary

Seizure of incriminating text message after arrest was lawful. About an hour after his arrest for sale of Ecstacy, at the sheriff’s station, appellant Diaz’s cell phone was seized. Diaz denied participation in the offense. While Diaz was being interrogated, a detective retrieved the cell phone and searched the text message folder, finding a message that said “6 4 80.” The officer interpreted this to mean six ecstacy pills for the price of eighty dollars. When confronted with the text message, Diaz admitted the offense. The trial court found that the search was incident to arrest and denied Diaz’s motion to suppress the text message and his subsequent statements. The appellate court affirmed. The fact that electronic devices are capable of storing vast amounts of private information does not give rise to a heightened expectation of privacy. The cell phone was immediately associated with Diaz’s person at the time of his arrest, and was therefore properly subjected to a delayed warrantless search.