Man Gets 180 Days Jail Term For Refusing To Unlock His iPhone


A US man, Mr. William Montanez has been handed 180 days jail term by a Florida judge for failing to unlock his two smartphones which holds the key to reveal if he was a drug dealer or not.


Montanez's lawyer Patrick Leduck filed a petition challenging the arrest and the judge's ruling. According to the Affidavit, Montanez was stopped by the police for refusing to properly yield while pulling out of a driveway.

When the police asked to search his vehicle, he refused since he had he backing of the law which states that routine traffic stops cannot be used as fishing expeditions.

The police brought in a drug-sniffing dog which according to the lawyer, is suspicious because the canine unit was contacted even before the police began speaking to Mr. Montanez.

The dog however sniffed out around 4.5 grams of weed plus THC oil which Montanez admitted belonged to him. But then the police also found a concealed handgun which supposedly belong to another person.

The passenger of the vehicle was a felon and so it would be illegal for him to own the weapon but the same can't be said for Mr. Montanez. However, Mr. Montanez's mother claimed to own the handgun though officers are yet to disprove or say anything in regards to that claim.

Among the seized possession in the police hands are two cellphones. During the search, a text came into one of the phone saying "OMG did they find it", the police then asked him to unlock the device which he refused.


The police obtained a search warrant and later ended up in the court. The judge asked him to unlock the devices but Mr. Montanez claimed that he had forgotten the passocde and the judge charged him for contempt, handing him a 180-day prison sentence.

The police suspects that the suspect also peddles drugs and thus, placed emphasis unlocking the two devices which according to them, holds the key in solving the case.

Montanez's lawyer, Patrick Leduc, while speaking sounded a warning to the general public saying police can compel you to unlock your electronic device and if you refuse, they will throw you in jail even though you have the right to privacy

Digital privacy has been a topic that has been debated on bylaw enforcement, privacy groups, tech companies in regards to users privacy.

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