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Building on Carpenter: Six New Fourth Amendment Challenges Every Defense Lawyer Should Consider

By Michael Price and Bill Wolf

Authors’ Note: Bringing a Fourth Amendment “location tracking” or “third-party records” challenge post-Carpenter may be daunting even for experienced defense counsel. NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center is available to assist. Defense attorneys handling a challenging case that involves any of the issues discussed here should contact Fourth Amendment Center Director Jumana Musa (jmusa@nacdl.org) or Senior Litigation Counsel Michael Price (mprice@nacdl.org) for pro bono consultation or direct litigation assistance. 

The implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Carpenter v. United States are just now coming into view as lower courts begin to apply Carpenter’s lessons to other forms of modern surveillance.1 In Carpenter, the Court held that a warrant is required to access more than six days of historical “cell site location information” — data obtained from the cellphone service provider indicating where a phone is connected to the cellular network.2 But the Court’s reasoning was not so

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