Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Barron-Soto: Independent source doctrine supports warrantless search

In U.S. v. Barron-Soto, No. 13-14731 (April 26, 2016), the Court held that the “independent source doctrine” made the evidence obtained from cell phones admissible, even though the phones were searched without a warrant. The Court noted that the district court’s ruling that the warrantless search was valid, under the exigent circumstances doctrine, because of the possibility of a remote wipe, was erroneous in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Riley. However, the warrant affidavit did not contain any information learned from the warrantless search of the cell phones. Rather, the affidavit described the circumstances of the arrests for narcotics trafficking. This information supported probable cause for the a search warrant for the cell phones.