Washington, DC (June 22, 2018) – This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Carpenter v. United States (16-402). The question presented in Carpenter was “whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment?” In a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, the Court held that the Government’s acquisition of Carpenter’s cell-site records was a Fourth Amendment search and therefore generally requires a warrant.
"Today's decision takes into account the 'seismic shifts' in technology and provides hope that privacy rights will survive in the digital age," said NACDL President Rick Jones.
"The Court’s message is clear: digital is different," said NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center Senior Litigation Counsel and Co-Author of NACDL’s joint amicus brief Michael Price. "In declining to extend the ‘third-party doctrine’ to cell phone location records, the Court recognizes that data generated by new technologies may be an ‘entirely different species’ of information that demands Fourth Amendment protection."
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Brennan Center for Justice, Constitution Project, and National Association of Federal Defenders, filed a joint amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Carpenter. In that brief, amici argued that: (i) there has been a dramatic increase in location data generated by cell phones, collected by third parties, and routinely obtained by law enforcement without a warrant, (ii) Cell Site Location Information (CSLI) paints a revealing portrait of a person's movements, presenting even greater privacy concerns than the GPS tracker at issue in Jones, and (iii) the “third-party doctrine” is "ill-suited to the digital age" and should not apply to CSLI.
To learn more about NACDL's extensive work in the Fourth Amendment arena, visit www.nacdl.org/fourthamendment.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.
Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or email@example.com
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.