Digital evidence: You can defend yourself against Internet crimes

Digital evidence: You can defend yourself against Internet crimes

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