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Defending Yourself Against Digital Evidence

by James E Crawford on Dec. 30, 2014

Criminal 

Summary: How do you defend yourself against digital evidence in court?

Computers, phones, tablets and other electronic devices are all used commonly in today's society. What you may not know is that the evidence that can be pulled from these devices could be used against you in court for a number of reasons. Digital evidence used to be only computer-based, including images or emails, but today it includes all digital transactions and communication processes.

Digital evidence is admissible in court in most cases, so if it's going to be used against you, you need to ask a few questions. How was it obtained, and was there a warrant? If not, it may not be admissible. Was the person who collected the evidence trained to do so and to extract that information properly with the right qualifications? In certain circumstances, you may be able to get the evidence thrown out of court if it was illegally collected.

Nearly all police enforcement agencies now fight e-crime with the use of digital evidence. In most agencies, there is a digital forensics or computer forensics department that is able and trained to decipher and analyze any data found on a computer or other digital device.

Digital evidence is helpful in many cases, as it can quickly show who is in the right or wrong. You could use digital information to prove your side of the case, too. If you're being accused of a crime with digital information and evidence at the center, you may want to speak with someone about your rights as a defendant. You need to be sure your rights haven't been violated and that the evidence being used was collected legally.

Source: National Institute of Justice, "Digital Evidence and Forensics" Dec. 11, 2014

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