There are many reasons why a defendant in a criminal case may want to access the cell phone of an accuser. Cell phones, or more accurately smartphones, contain an incredible amount of information. So much so, that even search warrants by law enforcement must be carefully tailored as noted in State v. Mansor, 363 Or 185 (2018).
In order to obtain an accusers cell phone, a subpoena duces tecum is required. A forensic expert will then need to extract digital evidence. A standard device used to do this is the Cellebrite Universal Memory Exchanger.
There are different methods of accomplishing this legally and, depending on the specific case, the extracted data may need to be reviewed by a court first via an in camera inspection. Information that is not privileged will then be provided to the parties.
State v. Bray, 363 Or 226 (2018) is an excellent case discussing the complex issues involved.
The following is a sample motion used to accomplish gaining access to an accuser’s cell phone:
This motion will require sufficient information in order for the court to grant it. This usually includes information that convinces the court that the information sought is, in fact, material to the defendant and actually located on the smartphone.
For more information on how to gain access to an accuser’s cell phone, contact an experienced defense attorney like Michael Buseman.