When Joe calls us or comes into the International Investigator’s office saying that his girlfriend is cheating on him and gives us the cell phone he has on his account for her to use, we can help him find the truth. The truth for him usually doesn’t involve using cell phone records as evidence in a court of law.
However, when a criminal attorney calls and says he thinks his client’s cell phone records and data could prove his guilt or innocence, using the cellphone records as evidence could be a critical element in the court case. Because of the isolation of the phone and specialized equipment to verify exact duplication, forensically extracted data is admissible as evidence in court.
Forensic cellular evidence is extracted through a very strict procedure. Every step of the process requires cell phone legal compliance and that does require an expert – and experienced – hand. There is a legal process for all cell records and that process is different for each carrier like Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. Most times a preservation letter must be prepared and sent to the carrier immediately to keep records that would otherwise be eliminated before a subpoena could be obtained from the courts. The individuality of each carrier’s process could involve very specific subpoena language for cell records or subpoena language for cell messages.
Once the legal steps have been taken, the phone can then be processed forensically and the data extracted. Each phone has its own protocol just like each service provider has its own proprietary protocol. The differentiator is actually the phone, not the carrier, which makes the process even more complex.
Every phone and its carrier create a unique protocol, which means that each case is unique and the forensic cellular evidence that is extracted is unique.
When a cell phone forensics expert gets on the stand, he provides the data with no judgment or interpretation. The reward for us here at is handling each step properly and in compliance to be able to provide the truth as evidence.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations