To smell is not the same as to see. At least that’s what a California court of appeal recently concluded when it rejected the validity of a warrantless search of a Fed Ex package based on the smell of marijuana alone.
Updated June 27, 2014: The United States Supreme Court has held that police may not search an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant. Riley v California (June 25, 2014, No. 13–132) 2014 US Lexis 4497.
Think about that smart phone with all those personal life details. That same little pandora’s box of potentially damaging evidence. Well, it just got easier for the police to search it in California. The California Supreme Court determined that after police take a cell phone from a suspect during an arrest, they can search the phone’s text messages without a warrant.