Phones come under the category of a personal belonging. Phones generally contain a person’s most personal information such as their banking information, their passwords, their family pictures, and saved login information which they would generally never want anyone to have access to.
If a police officer confiscates a person’s phone then the officer has acted against the law. Police officers are not allowed to confiscate personal belongings in most cases, but there are exceptions to the rule.
A police officer is allowed to confiscate a person’s personal belongings (such as a phone) if they see:
- That the person will cause harm to themselves or others with that belonging
- That the person is very likely the suspect of a crime
- That the person is undertaking some sort of illegal activity
- That the person is a risk to national security
If a person fits any of the above criteria then the officer is allowed to confiscate their personal belongings until the matter is sorted out and until the crime has been investigated properly
An officer confiscated my phone for no reason, what should I do now?
If an individual has had their phone taken away by an officer for no solid reason then they should definitely consult with a police brutality lawyer in Honolulu, Hawaii. Even if a person had committed a crime they still have their basic rights which are not allowed to be violated. A police officer is not allowed to harm the suspect or their property in any way unless a person was threatening to use their belongings to harm others.
A lawyer can help an individual fill in the correct paperwork and file the complaints in all of the right places to make sure that they get their phone back as soon as possible. They can further help a person litigate against the officer if the person suffered by missing important phone calls, messages or meetings due to having their phone confiscated.
Honolulu man wins $37,500 in compensation after a police officer takes his phone
On October 13, 2014 a Honolulu man had his phone confiscated by a police officer whom he was trying to record. Not only did the officer confiscate his phone, but he also used his taser on the victim’s hands which allegedly lead to the man having broken bones. The victim took the officer to court for the pain he was forced to endure and was awarded $37,500 by the court. The Honolulu Police Department has paid out 5.7million dollars in the last 11 years due to similar cases of police brutality.
If anyone has had their phone taken away by a police officer then they need to understand that this is actually a violation of their rights. A police officer cannot take a phone away simply because they are being recorded. They have to have a very strong reason for confiscating personal property, and if they cannot prove their reason in court then a person will most likely be able to get compensated for the way which they were treated.