Indiana appellate court upholds warrantless retrieval of real-time CSLI based on exigent circumstances

In this Indiana murder case, the police obtained cellular tracking information pursuant to Indiana law without a warrant. Based on that information that they retrieved, they got a warrant to search a residence. The defense argued that there was no legal basis for obtaining the real time CSLI without a warrant.

The appellate court upheld the CSLI acquistion based on exigent circumstances. They found the police were investigating a murder where the small amount of information available at the time linked the defendant to the victim. They found that the threat to the lives and safety of others and possible destruction of evidence were sufficiently exigent circumstances to allow use of Indiana statute rather than a warrant.

The case is Johnson v. State, 117 N.E.3d 581, 2018 Ind. App. LEXIS 490, 2018 WL 6714693 (IN Ct. App.) December 21, 2018.

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