Lots of serious criminal allegations involve computers, whether this is the use of computers to commit offences using the internet or by storing illegal material in electronic form on computers and portable storage media. It is all too common for the Police and other investigative agencies to seize every computer and item capable of storage they find and submit them for Forensic examination.
This process is time consuming and can add to the stress of the overall investigation, interrogation methods are designed to find deleted files and images.
We regularly work with large amounts of evidence of this kind and instruct leading industry experts to assist us in verifying and challenging technical reports compiled by Police experts.
This is also true of mobile phones; probably the most commonly seized and widely used piece of prosecution evidence. Often the Police will try to convince you and even make a requirement for you to provide your phone PIN or passcode. We will advise you of the technical aspects of phone evidence, deleted message retrieval and cell site analysis if appropriate.
With the proliferation of the internet and faster download speeds there have been a rise in offences relating to indecent images. On occasion these offences can be committed by no fault of the person arrested; the wrong IP address is obtained or a neighbour has managed to 'piggyback' a wifi connection, or you may have bought a second-hand computer. Sometimes 'thumbnail' images are involved and these can be embedded as cookies or small files that save themselves to the computer without the operator physically looking at them, or realising they are there. In cases such as these we have had considerable success in instructing the right experts to present this information on behalf of our clients' during trial.
Firearms offences are a particularly specialist area of Criminal Law, there are many offences regarding licencing and use of firearms as well as the use of firearms to commit crimes. These offences require different investigation and forensic capture techniques in respect of gun shot residue and ballistics matching. We have experience of the use of firearms and specifically the offences that can be committed, firearms licensing is a particularly varied and complex area of law. Whether it relates to air rifles, antique weapons, prohibited weapons or shotguns and firearms we can assist you with the specific laws that apply to these categories.
We instruct expert witnesses experienced in scene reconstruction, range testing and examination of all types of lethal barrelled weapons.
In serious criminal cases often Police investigations involve the use of sensitive source material that is not readily disclosed to defence to protect sensitive methodology. We are experts in the examination of these methods and the examination of the evidence obtained. We are fully conversant with the legislation that govern the use of informants and undercover police operations. This includes the use of technical listening devices and telephone surveillance as well as intrusive surveillance under Part 3 Police Act. This is a very technical and highly specialised area of law and if you suspect your case involves technical evidence such as listening devices or surveillance logs you should contact us immediately.
Colloquially termed forensic evidence this 'real' evidence can often seal the fate of clients' wrongly accused of crimes. The capture, packaging, examination techniques and subsequent forensic report will be subject to detailed scrutiny by experts in the field. Often issues such as contamination of evidence or a Police Scientist drawing an incorrect conclusion can lead to the collapse of a prosecution case. The field of Forensic Science is fast moving and new techniques are evolving all of the time in respect of DNA and specifically Low Copy Number testing; often these results are not challenged by defence solicitors. We will always seek to have any forensic sample analysed by an expert if our client contests the validity of the evidence.
In Proceeds of Crime / Money Laundering cases as well as large scale conspiracies to defraud, the services of a forensic accounting expert are crucial. Instructing such an expert at an early stage in a case assists greatly in creating a well-planned defence strategy that can lead to prosecutions being discontinued or acquittal at trial.
We work with Accredited Financial Investigators and Forensic Accountants who assist us in preparing expert testimony to support the case of our clients' in criminal trials.
CCTV cameras, mobile phone footage and more recently body worn cameras worn by Police Officers has been responsible for a marked increase in video material that is being put before the courts as evidence. Often these images can be difficult to see or of insufficient quality to make a reasonable conclusion.
Where required we instruct expert witnesses to provide a comparative analysis of CCTV footage using scientific techniques, this often assists the defence when seeking to disprove evidence of identification or criminal liability.
For additional information on the areas we cover, please contact us or call us on 01227 918436 / 0871 915 2468.