You might have been subject to a search and seizure, specifically related to your computer, by law enforcement. In some cases, the authorities will attempt to confiscate your computer and all of its contents. However, they are supposed to request only the information listed in the search warrant, as opposed to taking your entire computer. This should involve conducting a keyword search without looking through everything else on the computer. They do not need to look at each file or document for review. In this respect, a computer search differs from searching through a file cabinet. Our Fresno criminal lawyer can provide you with further clarity on computer searches.
Preservation of the Evidence
In general, the authorities will either copy the computer hard drive without physically removing it, or they will transport the computer to the station, copy the contents there, and then return it. Your Fresno criminal lawyer will want to ensure that the evidence is properly protected according to the chain of custody. An independent computer technician can make his own copy so that you can compare that file with the one made by the police.
Requesting the Return of the Computer
If law enforcement officers act beyond their scope of authority, your Fresno criminal defense attorney can ask for the computer to be immediately returned. The lawyer might also request that the files be sealed and turned over to an independent legal official for safekeeping.
The law addresses legal ways to conduct a search. Our Fresno criminal lawyer can provide you with further information if you have questions about the actions of law enforcement. You can reach Nicco Capozzi at 559-374-2012.