Your Phone Records Could Help Or Hurt Your Criminal Case

Posted on: 9 March 2015

If you're being charged with or investigated for a crime, it's important to understand just how much information can legally be accessed by the prosecution. In the modern world full of electronics, computers, and cell phones, it seems safe to say that much of the information about your life, who you contact on a regular basis, and even your location on a given day can be found by accessing digital records. If your criminal case involves the need for an alibi, did you know that your phone records may be able to help you (or harm you) depending on what they reflect?

Additionally, incriminating phone calls that may exist on the record held by your phone company, but how much of that information is protected by privacy laws and what would investigators need to do to obtain that information? Gaining an understanding of these issues can be vital to winning your case:

Triangulating Your Call

Of course, any call to a specific individual on your phone record can destroy your case in a second. For example, if the prosecution notices that you called an individual that they know was connected with the crime only five minutes after it occurred, that's bad news for you. But in a completely different sense, using your phone records past the simple facts of who you did or didn't call can help to boost or destroy your case just as effectively.

While it can't provide your specific location, checking the location of a cell tower ping (in other words, what specific cell tower was accessed to make a call) can help to corroborate your story. Getting a general whereabouts of your location on the day of the crime can be extremely helpful if you're innocent, but it can end up narrowing the area to the crime scene (and further pinning you down) if you're guilty.

Protected by Privacy

In common movies and television shows, investigators gain important evidence simply by calling up the phone company and checking the call records-- but is it really that easy? In reality, it is actually pretty easy: local governmental agencies have the right to issue a subpoena to your phone company simply if you are being investigated in a criminal case.

Once issued, your phone company doesn't have a choice in the matter-- they are required by law to hand over all call (and texting) records. If you're dealing with a case that you think could be impacted (for good or bad) by your cell phone records, be sure to discuss the details with your attorney as soon as possible.

To learn more, contact a professional like Maggio Saverpierre if you have other questions.


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