The most common mistake that
CASE EXAMPLE (UNITED STATES v. TURNER 1999):
Law enforcement officers obtained permission from the defendant to search his home for evidence relating to a sexual assault of one of his neighbors. During the search, an
Regarding exigency, a warrantless search can be made for any emergency
There are four questions that investigators must ask
Does the Fourth Amendment and/or ECPA apply to the situation?
Have the Fourth Amendment and/or ECPA requirements been met?
How long can investigators
What do investigators need to re-enter?
When asking answering these questions, remember that the ECPA prohibits
a crime has been committed;
evidence of crime is in existence;
the evidence is likely to exist at the place to be searched.
Even when investigators are authorized to search a computer, they must maintain focus on the crime under investigation. For instance, in United States v. Carey (case ref), the investigator found child pornography on a machine while searching for evidence of drug
CASE EXAMPLE (UNITED STATES v. GRAY 1999):
During an investigation into Montgomery Gray's alleged unauthorized access to National Library of Medicine computer systems, the FBI obtained a warrant to seize four computers from Gray's home and look for information downloaded from the library. While examining Gray's computers, a digital evidence
CASE EXAMPLE (WISCONSIN v. SCHROEDER):
While investigating an online harassment complaint made against Keith Schroeder, a digital evidence examiner found evidence relating to the harassment complaint on his computer and noticed some pornographic pictures of children. A second warrant was obtained, giving the digital evidence examiner authority to look for child pornography on Schroeder's computer. Schroeder was charged with 19 counts of possession of child pornography and convicted on 18 counts after a jury trial. For the
The other common mistake that prevents digital evidence from being admitted by courts is improper handling. Although courts were somewhat lenient in the past, as more judges and