In investigating a criminal case, the police may obtain a warrant to search the suspect’s computer files. However, as the owner of the computer, you have certain legal rights that the police need to respect. Your Pierce County criminal defense lawyer can take several steps to ensure that your rights are not violated.
Narrow the Search
The police can only search for files or documents on your computer for which there is probable cause that it may be linked to a criminal activity. Therefore, your Pierce County criminal defense lawyer should take necessary steps to ensure that the police are using a tailored keyword search and other such technological search methods to look for the specific file or material.
Preserve the Evidence
Although the police cannot knowingly alter the evidence found on your computer as they search for the files, you or your Pierce County criminal defense lawyer should still take certain precautionary steps to preserve the content by making a mirror-image of your computer’s hard drive before turning it over to the police.
Returning Your Property
Although a search warrant may be specific as to the files the police can search for on a computer, the computer itself may also contain other documents and files beyond the warrant’s scope. Your Pierce County criminal defense lawyer should move for the immediate return of your computer and demand that the files be sealed and provided to an independent magistrate for review in order for the police not to view these unrelated documents.
For more information about protecting your rights during the search of your computer files, call Pierce County criminal defense lawyer