If you are accused of a crime (that maybe you did, in fact, commit), you may feel comfortable that no one else knows about it, or that anyone who does know about it wouldn’t rat you out. However, witness statements are only one component of criminal investigations, and the worst evidence against you might be sitting in your purse or back pocket.
Your own cell phone can work against you in a number of ways. Whether you deleted them or not, incoming and outgoing messages—either texts or through social media—could reveal communications you’d rather not see in your discovery. It could be planning an alleged crime (deciding when and where to meet), talking about it (or Googling it) after the fact, or even the crime itself (like texting an ex in violation of a restraining order). And even if you never said anything concerning on your phone, know that when you use certain apps or have your location services on, your phone records could also put you at or near the scene of an offense, regardless of where you claimed to be at the time. At the end of the day, just be mindful of that fact that anything you do on or with your phone could one day be aired out in a courtroom.
Of course, a skilled criminal defense attorney can and will still develop a plan to exclude as much of that evidence as possible. They could file a motion to suppress that evidence altogether if it was obtained unlawfully or argue that it shouldn’t be admitted if it is unreliable or untrustworthy. And if an experienced criminal defense attorney is asking you what investigators might find on your phone, it’s not to judge you; it’s simply to determine what we may be up against.
One important thing to remember, however, is that you should not help the people investigating you build their case. So, if law enforcement asks for your consent to look at your phone, it is probably a better idea to politely decline unless they have a valid search warrant. Then you should use that phone to call a qualified, locally experienced criminal defense firm that can walk you through what to do next.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and wants to learn more about your options moving forward, give us a call at (619) 295-3555 to set up your case evaluation today.
The contents of this article and blog are for meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.