In many criminal cases, police now use computer searches of a suspects hard drive to obtain evidence. If this happens to you, contact a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney right away. Depending on the circumstances, there are certain things your attorney can do.
Understanding the Scope of a Computer Search
When police are authorized to search a criminal suspect’s computer hard drive, your Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer should work to make sure the search stays within a limited scope. This can be done in a number of ways. The idea is to prevent the officers from conducting a broad search of every file on the hard drive. Your attorney may request restricted keyword searching to help ensure the officer does not search for items for which he/she lacks probable cause. If the officer exceeds the scope of the warrant or if your attorney suspects evidence tampering, he may file a motion with the court to suppress any evidence obtained by the search.
Preserving the Hard Drive
Your Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney should take steps to preserve the hard drive that’s being searched. Law enforcement will often take a “mirror image” of the hard drive before searching. Your Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer can request to do the same. This can help ensure the drive searched is not tampered with or compromised during the search process.
Seeking Return of Property
Your attorney may ask the court for return of your property promptly after the search concludes. In the alternative, your attorney may request the property be sealed and given to an independent magistrate for review. In many cases, these things do not happen automatically. They will require your attorney to file a motion and/or schedule a hearing in front of the judge for a ruling.
Many of the steps your attorney can take are time sensitive. Therefore, it’s critical you contact one right away if you’ve been charged with a crime.
For knowledgeable legal advice on your criminal matter, contact a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney at Miel & Carr PLC. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call 616-773-2945.