When law enforcement officials target an individual for a sex crime investigation, they have a number of tools at their disposal. One commonly used process is that of computer forensics. The science of computer forensics is essentially looking at the contents of a suspect’s computer files in an effort to discover incriminating evidence, such as pornographic images featuring children.
Certainly, having the police come to your home or your place of employment and seizing your computer could be a traumatic and personally damaging experience. However, before the authorities can confiscate your property without your permission, they must secure a warrant from the court. This is a requirement of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
It is not enough for the warrant to simply state that the computer will be seized for examination. In regard to the seizure of a computer, what the authorities are really interested in is what is contained on hard drives or any other storage device. This means that a warrant must expressly include the items the authorities intend to search. The warrant should also name the specific offense that the contents of the storage devices are allegedly connected to.
The details of a warrant are extremely important. The authorities cannot simply get a warrant to confiscate a computer and then start rooting around in the files with the hope of discovering something incriminating.
If you have had your computer seized for examination by the police, you will likely need a strong defense to protect your rights. An experienced criminal attorney could act as your representative. By going over the conditions outlined in the warrant, the attorney may be able to discover discrepancies that could render any evidence gleaned from the search of your files inadmissible.