In Florida and other states, a person has a right to privacy in his home, automobile, personal effects and other property. This means that the police cannot just search a person or his/her property based on suspicion or because they feel like it. However, the rules are different for people on probation. If a person is arrested and charged with a crime, pleads guilty or is convicted at trial and is then put on probation, the state has much greater access to that person and his/her property than a regular person.
In a case just south of Jacksonville, Florida, the defendant was on probation for attempted sexual battery on a child. He was put on probation after he served time in prison. While on probation, he was required to fulfill certain conditions, and he had a probation officer who supervised him. While on probation, his probation officer came into his home and downloaded his cell phone data without a search warrant or consent.
Obviously, a police officer or anyone from the state cannot enter a person’s home and/or search his cell phone without a search warrant or specific consent under normal circumstances. However, this involved a person on probation for a serious crime. Upon searching his phone, the probation officer found information that indicated the defendant had violated his probation. A warrant was issued for the violation of probation.