What Role Does Cell Phone Evidence Play in Criminal Cases?

Hartford criminal defense lawyer for digital evidenceTechnology is a common and often unavoidable presence in today’s world. Think about your own life; how often do you use your cell phone? What do you use your cell phone for? If you have ever used apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps to get from place to place, your location has been recorded. Even if you delete phone calls or text message conversations from your phone, the records of these conversations still exist. When it comes to criminal cases, technology has become a commonly-used source of evidence.

Cell Phones and Types of Evidence

Almost everything you do on your cell phone is recorded and stored. Information about any calls you make, any text messages you send, and any apps you use can all be accessed on your cell phone, even if you have attempted to delete those records. There are many different types of cell phone data that can be used in criminal cases, including:

  • History from your internet browser
  • Email messages (when they were sent, who they were sent to, and their content)
  • Call records, such as who you called and when
  • Text messages, what they contained, and who they were sent to
  • GPS and cell tower information, which can be used to attempt to determine the location of the phone

Defendants Often Have Trouble Retrieving Evidence

The United States criminal justice system was founded on the belief that those accused of committing a crime have certain rights. For example, the prosecution has the burden of proof in criminal cases, and prosecutors are required by law to reveal all evidence that they have against the defendant. Though these protections exist, defendants and their attorneys are often still at a disadvantage.

There are two major disadvantages that defendants and their attorneys have when it comes to digital forensic evidence. First, defense lawyers can only subpoena companies to turn over digital evidence, and in many cases, these requests are ignored. Prosecutors working for the government can issue warrants and court orders to gather information, giving them access to information that may not be available to the defendant. Second, digital forensic technology is often out of reach for defense attorneys, yet it is readily accessible to law enforcement and prosecutors.

Why Is This an Issue?

The biggest concern when it comes to digital evidence is the fact that very little effort has been made on the part of the government or digital forensics companies to make their equipment and services more available to defense attorneys. In many cases in which defendants have been accused of crimes, evidence that is contained on their cell phones or in wearable technology can hold the key to their innocence, but this data is often locked away and unable to be extracted by defense attorneys without a lot of work and significant amounts of money.

Contact a Hartford, CT Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been accused of a crime you know you did not commit, you may be surprised to learn that your cell phone could hold the key to your innocence. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand how modern criminal cases work, and we know the importance of digital evidence in building a defense. Our skilled Connecticut criminal defense lawyer can help you form a solid defense using our extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and the digital evidence that is available. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/business/law-enforcement-public-defender-technology-gap.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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