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When the Government Seizes and Searches Your Client’s Computer
By Amy Baron-Evans
Without a proper understanding of
the technology and its relationship to basic Fourth Amendment principles,
however, a number of courts have approved computer searches that in the
physical world would have been ruled unconstitutional general searches. Educating
a judge in this area can be a real challenge, but judicial ignorance means the
Know the law and the technology
As soon as possible after a subpoena
or search warrant is served, hire a forensic computer examiner to educate you
about the technology at issue. An expert will be indispensable in framing and
justifying discovery requests, reconstructing the government’s search, and
providing affidavits and testimony in support of a motion to suppress. An
expert with substantial experience executing government search warrants can be
particularly helpful in recognizing what the government’s examiner actually did
and why it violated the Fourth Amendment.
For a good start on the case law and
a look at Depar
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