Search and Seizure iPhone App

If you have an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod touch, you can now download the School of Government’s first smartphone app, a guide to the law of search and seizure called ASSET. (That’s an acronym for Arrest, Search, and Seizure Electronic Tool, but obviously we also hope that the app will be an asset to its users.) Enter the App Store and search for “NC ASSET.” It should be the only result. Here are a few things to know about the app:

  • It’s free. It isn’t just a free trial, or a free version that encourages you to buy a more robust version later. It’s just free.
  • It’s designed for officers. That doesn’t mean that lawyers, judges, and others can’t use it or won’t like it. But it isn’t massively detailed and packed full of citations. It is meant as a field reference for officers who aren’t toting around their copy of Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina.
  • I wrote the content. I had a lot of help with this app, both legal and technical, but the final responsibility for the content is mine. Any complaints should be directed to me. I’m also willing to accept compliments, which I will share with the other members of the ASSET team.
  • It isn’t optimized for iPad. We had a limited budget for this project, so it’s professionally produced and looks great, but it is really an iPhone and iPod touch app that you can view on an iPad, too. Veteran iPad users know the drill, but you’ll have to choose between looking at a sharp, iPhone-sized image in the middle of your screen, or a larger, blurrier image produced by pixel doubling.
  • There’s no Android version. At least not yet. In the poll we took a while back, most smartphone-equipped officers said they had iPhones, so we built for that platform first. If the app’s a success and there’s strong demand for an Android version, we may try to build one. We’ll have to figure out how to pay for that.
  • We would like your feedback. You can provide it on the blog, through the app store, or directly to me by email. We’re interested in your thoughts about the look and feel of the app, how the app is organized, features and functions, and the level of detail. Because this is our first app, we’d really like to know what we got right and where we can improve.

You can read more about the app, and see screen shots, in the App Store. The “splash page” for the app appears below to give you a taste of it. I’m pretty excited about this new vehicle for disseminating legal information. Hope you like it, too.

20 comments on “Search and Seizure iPhone App

  1. I would like to see an app built for the android phones. The state recently issued all probation/parole officers a droid smartphone. It is my understanding that if there is an app that we could use then it would be approved for download. This would be helpful if you could get it built. Thanks.

  2. I think it is great what you are doing but at our agency we are issued Androids so would like to see it come out in an app for the Droids.

    • Duane and Angela: We’d like to build the app for Android. We’re seeking sponsors/funding for that. If you have any ideas, let us know.

      • i would be willing to pay for a good app like that on the android market…

      • I would definitely pay for an Android app too! I had it on my Iphone and really miss it.

  3. I was looking for the link but can’t find it. Posssibly my eyes, but as good as this sounds I’m not sure how to down load it.

    • Gary: You can only access it from the Apple App Store. Enter the store and search for “NC ASSET” and you should get the app as the only result.

  4. I understand the Search and Seizure app was only released in iPhone version. I vote for an Android version. Looking at the survey results, 85% of respondants were users of either iPhone or Android. I would think that would support it being built on both platforms (50% iphone/35% Android).


  5. I, too, would like to see an android version! I would also love to see a N.C. Crimes app!!! This would be beneficial for all areas of criminal justice!

  6. Looking forward to using this app on my IPod Touch. It does require OS5 so I will have to update my IPod before installing. Thank for the program.

  7. Andriod!

  8. Count me as another among the many Android users who would like to see an app built for us as well.

  9. Jeff- At first glance this appears to provide a short hand guide to criminal law that may prove very useful in the crowded, fast world of district court. I’m not in criminal court all that often. This is likely to prove a useful go by to crim pro. Particularly for judges like me who didn’t come from a criminal practice. Thanks.

    And if this is useful to judges, perhaps the SOG will look at boiling down procedure for easy and quick access in other areas. Perhaps Family Law. Or child support. Or delinquency. Or summary ejectments. Or even bond forfeiture.

  10. A version for normal PCs would also be great. Most all street officers have a laptop in their car. They don’t pay me enough to justify giving up my flip phone for an iphone and a $100 plan.

  11. I am very impressed with this APP as a NC LEO. Lots of good refresher information. However, I was reading through the Exigent Circumstances portion and I noticed it doesn’t really touch on the implications of US vs Mowatt which deal with officer created exigencies. It seems the example provided with the officers who have PC that a house is selling narcotics could be fleshed out with US vs Mowatt.

  12. I just used it for motor vehicle checkpoints. Great tool, thanks again.

  13. Great app!!! I use it on my iPhone and iPad. It has already proven to be a highly valuable tool. I am a LEO and I have integrated much of this information into my reports. My supervisors are highly impressed with the end result. Other officers now call me to look up info for them. Every officer need access to this wonderful tool.

    • Thanks for the feedback. If you have a chance, please rate the app and leave a comment in the app store, too!

  14. Various Government agencies have just released apps for android and iPhone. It’s about time the Government did this since we are in the digital mobile era.

  15. I vote for an Android version. Looking at the survey results, 85% of respondants were users of either iPhone or Android.