Halloween is a funny time of year. There are the cute little kids wandering around in puppy costumes and princess dresses. Then you have the older kids that want to be “scary” with their vampires and creepy clown attire. But that is all pretend. The (very real) disturbing images are the ones that come out with discovery in criminal cases. Autopsy photos. That’s real. The crime scene photos before the body gets to the morgue. Real disturbing. And we haven’t even discussed Facebook returns and images stored on defendant cell phones. We can, and have, looked through every photo because occasionally things are sold on Facebook that shouldn’t be. Facebook Messenger can be used to conduct business transactions that aren’t on the up-and-up.
We look through all of them and tag them so attorneys can focus on a small number of images or messages instead of a 600,000-page Facebook dump. If one ever needs a lesson about not taking pictures of your private parts because you never know who might be seeing them, this is it!
Being employed in a field where porn and dead bodies will show up on your work computer also adds an interesting aspect to the workplace. Being conscious of workplace culture is never more important than when you KNOW unsavory (possibly unintentionally hilarious) items will be on your screen. The person walking behind your desk might be in for an accidental eyeful (search warrant photos, I’m talking to you)! There’s a fine line between laughing about the off-color meme from a cell phone dump with the rest of the team on the case and getting in trouble for harassment. We do take the time to mark any such files as “inappropriate” for defendants awaiting trial while incarcerated. Their discovery needs to be clean for them and their respective facility.
Videos, photos and audio files come in various file types, some of them not very accessible from your computer, unless they are converted. We convert all these file types into a format easily opened without any special program. You could call us “the first line of defense” when finding the needle in the haystack or the masters of the social media universe.
We hope you enjoyed pretending this Halloween and had a Milky Way bar (or two!) along the way. If you’re going to have [a] 100 Grand, don’t brag about it on social media.