Most of us know, Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Divorce is a fate that no one dreams of, but all of us have been touched by in one way or another. The stress of deciding to separate can take its toll on us emotionally, mentally and financially. If your marriage ends up resulting in divorce, here are some legal tips from a forensic perspective:
Holy mother of DATA. Many are oblivious to all the forms of data being used in court these days…
Text messages sent/received
Cell phone apps
Are you trying to prove infidelity or something worse? Have you been accused by your ex and are now trying to prove your own innocence? The data listed above can make or break a case. So many times we hear, “I know he visited ____ website, but when I look back at his browsing history it isn’t there,” or, “I know I saw a text message on her phone. I can’t find it now.”
All these items that would have been of use to you are probably already gone.
Or are they?
To delete information from a computer or phone simply tells the device to “hide” the info from being seen. Think of clicking the delete button as merely flagging the data, which then in turn modifies the partition table on the machine. You’re telling the machine you never want to see that file or document again. You’re breaking up with the data, but it still exists somewhere because there is no such thing as deleted info heaven. All these “deleted” items can be recovered from computers, phones, GPS systems, etc. by a certified forensic examiner. The forensic examiner can resuscitate the “dead” information so your attorney can present the facts in court.
Warning: Shining a light on all this data that was hidden can be extremely powerful. It was hidden for a reason, right?
Cell Tower Triangulation
Emily and James had been wed for 5 years, and lived in Edmond, Oklahoma. For the past year, James worked as a Safety Coordinator for an Energy Company which required him to travel to Tulsa one weekend every month. After much suspicion, Emily discovered James had created an account on a dating website. James argued that he had made the account before he and Emily were married. He had one friend from the website, Alicia, that he still kept in touch with after all this time. James handed his phone over willingly, insisting he had done nothing wrong. “I didn’t tell you because I knew you’d be jealous of nothing,” he told Emily. The phone records on his cell phone showed that he and Alicia spoke often, around the same time each day for several months. The messages they sent back and forth on the website were innocent. There were no text messages between them at all. Everything James said checked out, except when his phone was processed for cell tower triangulation.[Cell Tower Triangulation (CTT) is created when a cell phone connects to three towers. Three is the magic number because it improves the accuracy of the cell phone’s location to an approximate area of ¾ square mile. Trying to use the coordinates for a phone that has pinged only one tower is tremendously risky. A single tower might span a radius of 45 miles, and the closest tower might be busy, which causes a person’s phone to connect to the next closest tower (think of times your phone was ‘roaming’).]
CTT showed that James was nowhere near Tulsa on the weekends he was supposed to be working there. James was actually in Elk City, Oklahoma, where Alicia lives.
Unfortunately, divorce is rarely amicable and can get flat out ruthless. Data is sometimes the one thing that is not biased and presents itself with clear answers. For more information on using forensic data as evidence in court, please contact us today.
[Although we are certified and testify as an Expert Witness for court, we are not a law firm. Please contact your attorney for any legal counseling.]