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Our Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Explains the Limits of the Scope of Searches
31 Aug 2015

Our Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Explains the Limits of the Scope of Searches

Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Clients sometimes ask our Albuquerque criminal lawyer about computer searches and how much leeway the authorities have. For example, the courts might compare a computer to a filing cabinet with numerous filing folders. They require the authorities to show probable cause along with a warrant so that they can search every single aspect of the computer – each directory, folder and file on the hard drive.

Disadvantages of Broad Parameters in a Computer Search

However, viewing the computer as just a holder for files has some disadvantages. If the authorities are looking for a specific image or documents, they will ask for a general search of any possible folder or file that could contain that information. Such an expansive search results in a serious intrusion into a person’s specific information, leading to a possible violation of his or her rights. Some courts have placed strong limits on computer searches, citing the protections of the Fourth Amendment. Our Albuquerque criminal lawyer can provide you with legal advice regarding the parameters of a computer search.

Protecting Your Privacy During a Computer Search

Our criminal attorney Albuquerque can review the warrant before the search in order to ensure that the authorities do not intrude on your privacy beyond the scope of the warrant. Even if the police find allegedly incriminating information during a computer search, your Albuquerque criminal lawyer can counter that they need additional cause to search further. A file has an extension that labels the type of folder that it contains. Different extensions usually are located in different folders. For example, e-mails usually have an “eml” extension while documents usually have a “doc” extension. The warrant should specify the type of file that the authorities are looking for so that they do not look in documents for a photograph if that’s what the warrant specifies.

Call Our Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer

If you believe that law enforcement might have exceeded their scope of authority, contact our criminal attorney Albuquerque residents trust from the Twohig Law Firm at (505) 898-0400.


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