If you are arrested, the police may have the power to seize your devices, although whether the seizure is lawful depends entirely upon the individual circumstances of your case. If the device is lawfully seized, they may retain any information that they recover from it for use in evidence.
Of course, if you have a mobile phone, you will likely have a certain degree of security, such as a PIN code or password, which the police will not be able to bypass. Any social media accounts you are not logged into on your phone will also usually be password protected. Because of this, the police will likely ask you to unlock your phone and provide your login details for your social media accounts. Even if you are in custody and you under pressure to
comply with the police, you do not have to give this information, even when directly asked.
Once the police have arrested and cautioned you, you do not have to answer any of their questions, and you are entitled to independent legal advice.
In some cases, the police may issue you with a requirement to disclose to them any password or PIN code to a device, under s49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 200. Assuming the request is lawful, failure to provide it within a reasonable period is serious criminal offence. It is therefore essential that you take legal advice if such a request is made of you.
Instructing Taylor Law
We can advise and represent you in the event that you are suspected of an offence and the authorities are trying to remove or have removed your electronic devices. We have substantial experience in making representations for the prompt return of devices and, in some instances, we have taken action through the courts for injunctions to prevent access to them and have any data taken from them destroyed.
At Taylor Law we are specialists in criminal defence and representing police officers across a range of allegations.
We have expert criminal defence and police law solicitors in Middlesbrough, Leeds and London who can act for you and provide genuinely expert advice, guidance, and representation.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.