Messy military lawyer. Today’s public service announcement involves all those people out there who think they’re smarter than the cops, who think they’re smarter than the lawyers who think they’re smarter than the judges. If you keep your biometric data, you keep the biometric ways for you to open your phone, fingerprint, facial ID. You can’t just look away.
You can’t just close your eyes. You can’t put your wrong finger on there and think that it’s going to be okay. If they determine that there is probable cause that there’s evidence of a crime in your phone, a judge can order you to comply. If you don’t comply, they’ll get you on obstruction. If you’re in the military, they’ll get you for obstruction and/or maybe willful disobedience of an order, and they’ll make sure that an order is given to you, not by an NCO, but by an officer because they want to jack up the maximum.
Okay, so all the people out there who are responding to my warning about removing that from your phone, you want to find yourself in hotter water. And look, there’s a lot of people out there saying, Hey, that’s better than being charged with what could be on my phone, cost benefit analysis to you.
But do not think that you can just close your eyes or look away or use the wrong finger. I’ve had some very interesting commentary about what you’re using for your, your fingerprint. That’s creative. But I’m telling you, if that is on there and they know that, that’s how you can open your phone and you’re willfully deciding not to cooperate, you can end up with a obstruction. You can end up also in the civilian world being held over in jail before trial until you decide to open it.
Again, cost, benefit analysis. But please don’t think you can outsmart people by like closing your eyes or using the wrong finger. Messy military lawyer.
Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.
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