An Oregon appeals court last week decided that a woman who was high on meth when she crashed into a tree, seriously injuring one adult and five children passengers, can be forced to unlock her iPhone.

It’s not a violation of her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the court said on Wednesday, because the fact that she knows her phone passcode is a “foregone conclusion.” Oregon Live reports that the court’s rationale is that police already had reason to believe that the phone in question is hers, given that they found it in her purse, the court said.

The foregone conclusion standard keeps cropping up in these compelled-unlocking cases. It allows prosecutors to bypass Fifth Amendment protections if the government can show that it knows that the defendant knows the passcode to unlock a device.

The woman in question, Catrice Cherrelle Pittman, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in March 2017.

According to court documents, at the time Pittman drove off the road and into a tree in June 2016, at the age of 27.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, third-degree assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Prosecutors had wanted to use evidence from Pittman’s iPhone to help them build a case that she was also allegedly dealing meth, but that charge was later dismissed.

What does this change?

Ryan Scott, a criminal defense attorney in Portland who closely follows appeals cases, told Oregon Live that the ruling is an example of a continuing erosion of rights, given that federal case law has been heading in this direction for the past few years:

Our rights are a little less than they were yesterday. But for those of us following this area of law it’s not a surprise.

He’d be one to know, but it’s worth pointing out that the courts are far from marching in lockstep on this issue.

Some, but certainly not all, courts have decided that compelled password disclosure amounts to forcing the defendant to disclose the contents of her own mind – a violation of Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

One example is the decision that came out of the Florida Court of Appeal in November 2018 regarding a case that’s similar to that of Pittman, in that it involved an intoxicated person who crashed their car, leading to the injury or death of passengers, then refused to unlock their iPhone for police.