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Cell Phone Tower Expert Witnesses Used in Criminal Cases

Cell phones tracking is not a common science, and various lawyers are unaware of how to proceed when facing these experts in a criminal case. The tracking and global positioning technology are known to electronic and telecommunications experts, but legal professionals have little access or understanding of what these methods entail.

The use of cellphone tracking is relatively new, and the courts argued about these scientific methods as false or pseudoscience. However, it is possible to track the user, analyze cell tower transmissions and examine the data so that additional information is possible. Through the use of an expert, the criminal case may proceed. This could help the prosecution in proving that the defendant is guilty or the defense in demonstrating to the courtroom that he or she is innocent of any crime. Unfortunately, without an expert, the judge or jury may not have any awareness of what the data means or how it relates to the functions of a cellphone and tracking.

The Cell Phone Expert

Experts in technology are able to decipher various code or programming. When these skills apply to cell phones, the professional has the capability of understanding GPS, signals and
telecommunication data. The activity between a cell phone and cell tower may provide the expert with enough knowledge to track the person individually. This would give the criminal case more evidence against the defendant. Additionally, the expert may become part of the prosecution early and track the information before the courtroom becomes involved. Then, there is more proof to put the individual behind bars. However, the defense may use similar experts to refute the data and show how the defendant is innocent of the crimes accused.

Methods and Procedures

While there are various methods applied to these situations, the primary concern with cell phones and criminal activity is to either ascertain guilt or innocence through tracking. The previous GPS information is available through stored data in a database with the cell phone company or through the transmitted information supplied by the connection. Some cell phone carriers have software that saves this information locally. The methods used by experts could include contacting network administrators for details or backtracking through the phone or cell tower. Then, the expert may apply this information to the case and help the judge or jury understand where the person was during the crime.

Sometimes, the local or connected law enforcement is part of the expert testimony when the officers are able to track and analyze the cell tower data. Procedures may include independent expert witnesses that have a background in computers or networking. Then, this expertise is put to the test through processes in obtaining and assessing the information for the criminal case. The professional may then explain the details by speaking as he or she would to a person without this knowledge. In this manner, he or she may then attempt to prevent the incarceration of the defendant and prove that he or she was not at the scene of the crime during the activity.

Admissibility and Permitting Cell Phone Data

While admissibility of expert testimony requires passing relevancy and reliability in methods, the admission of the data may not require an expert’s analysis. He or she supplies testimony about the information and may clarify the evidence to ensure the defendant is give a fair trial. However, the judge must permit the electronic details in the courtroom. If there are any visible inconsistencies, the expert’s information may become inadmissible. The same is possible for his or her testimony when not qualified for the case. This makes passing any tests crucial. Reading the details supplied by the cellphone or cell towers may increase the understanding of where or what the individual was doing during his or her time.

Sound Testimony of a Cell Phone Expert

While experts are held to a higher standard in criminal cases, these professionals may supply the defense with enough information to support a defense strategy. The GPS tracking data may explain that the person was not in the area when criminal activity occurred. However, this does not prove that the invidious was elsewhere. He or she may have transferred the phone to another. Calls and text or chat transpiring during the tracking may increase the awareness of where he or she was during the incident. Through valid and reliable readings of data, the expert may inform the judge or jury so that deliberation occurs with all necessary knowledge.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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