What You Need To Know About Computer Searches

Most adults are aware that the Fourth Amendment protects them from unlawful home searches. However, few know that this amendment applies to searches on computers and other devices. Because your computer houses private and extensive data, you need to know how to protect your rights if the police demand to examine the browsing history, saved images or documents on your laptop or tablet.

Far too often, our attorneys at Kohn Smith Roth have represented Milwaukee residents facing misdemeanor or felony sex charges after officers have accessed their computers. In many cases, charges were filed based on weak evidence or information that was taken out of context. Our criminal defense lawyers make it their mission to challenge these charges and limit the impact this criminal matter has on your future.

When Police Can Search Your Computer

Police officers will use whatever tricks necessary to obtain your permission to search your computer. Once they have your consent, any information they discover on your device can be used as evidence against you.

They are allowed to search your computer when:

  • They have a warrant.
  • You give them permission.
  • Your spouse, house guest or roommate agrees to a search.
  • There is an emergency that requires them to access information on your computer.

Handling A Police Search

If an officer does have a warrant to search your computer, you can protect rights by refusing to speak to the officer without an attorney. Our criminal defense lawyers are available 24/7. You can easily reach us at 414-698-2600 or 414-807-1044.

Although the officer may tell you otherwise, you are not required to provide passwords or login information to the officer. It is not your job to assist officers with a computer search. Your number one priority is to protect your name, your rights and your future.

Getting arrested or charged with a sex offense can affect your life for years. It is critical that you make smart decisions if you find yourself in this situation.

Do You Believe Your Rights Were Violated? Talk To Us Today.

Our attorneys have decades of combined criminal defense experience, so they know how to hold Wisconsin police officers accountable for disregarding the law. We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients.

Contact us online or over the phone at  to make an appointment.