This is the third post in our series regarding defending against cyber crimes in Arkansas. Our last post discussed how seriously prosecutors take computer crimes. Being arrested for a cyber crime can be embarrassing and frightening. It is helpful to have a knowledgeable local attorney to guide you through the next steps and evaluate your defenses.
Computer crimes are included in Arkansas residents’ right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure
In order to connect a specific person to a computer related crime, the police must gather significant amounts of information to create a trail. Frequently these documents include information from Internet service providers (ISP), email and social media accounts, and computer hardware itself. Some of the information, such as the ISP at your home address, is available through subpoena. Information held on your hard drive is protected from search and seizure without a warrant. This means if the police want to do an analysis on your personal computer equipment, they need your consent or a warrant. Your smart phone is a personal computer. The police need a warrant or your permission to unlock, open, search or otherwise access information on your smart phone. This includes your emails, text messages, phone call log, and information stored on applications (apps) like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
A Little Rock cyber crimes lawyer can help you with a Motion to Suppress Evidence
If you believe your rights have been violated and the police accessed your smart phone or computer without a warrant or your permission then your lawyer may be able to keep any evidence out of court through a Motion to Suppress Evidence. This may include circumstances where you felt you had no choice but to allow police access to your equipment. Your attorney will interview you regarding the circumstances under which the police seized your equipment. He or she will also review all documents provided by the prosecution, interview any additional witnesses, and review any records you are able to provide. After a thorough review, if it appears that your equipment was searched or seized in violation of the law, your attorney will file a Motion to Suppress Evidence with the court. The police will testify live before a judge and your lawyer will cross-examine them regarding the circumstances and attempt to demonstrate to a judge that your rights were violated. Your counsel may also present any evidence on your behalf that he or she thinks is helpful for the motion. A judge will hear all the evidence and make a decision.
These cases are very complicated and fact specific. If you feel your computer or smart phone was searched or seized unlawfully contact a Little Rock attorney immediately. Our lawyers also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.