(It goes without saying that if you find incriminating evidence on a device other than your suspect’s, you should stop and obtain a new search warrant for the new device.)
7. Reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
A text message in plain view can provide reasonable suspicion to detain a suspect; a consent search can turn up enough to support a search warrant for a full extraction and analysis of a mobile device.
The true power of mobile forensics, as with other digital forensics, lies in building such strong cases that not only can your clearance rate improve, but prosecutors can negotiate plea bargains that reduce the number of trials, clearing their calendars for more serious crimes. Understand how to make it work for you, use it appropriately, and educate your prosecutors on how it can help them too.