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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33482
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I recently left my employer and turned in my company laptop.

Resolved Question:

I recently left my employer and turned in my company laptop. I had viewed porn on this laptop over the time I had it (I did not download files - just viewed at the website server level). None of it was child porn (to my knowledge), but I am now very worried that all of these "hidden files" that windows keeps may leave a trail for them to give the laptop to law enforcement and try to make some sort of child porn case. They have reason to try and discredit me from a legal standpoint because they cannot do it from a civil standpoint (I have a separation agreement with them that gags both parties). Help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

Not likely. Most large corporation IT departments routinely wipe employee hard disks as soon as they recover the computer in order to mitigate the possibility of the employee later using somthing on the hard disk to sue the employer.

 

Even if there were incriminating files on the computer -- now that it's no longer in your hands, who is to say that the files weren't downloaded by someone in IT. A good computer tech can modify the file dates, so that's not reliable evidence.

 

Finally, remember that law enforcement needs a better than 50% chance that you've committed a crime to arrest you, and proof beyond all reasonable doubt to convict. So, making a case here, without some really good evidence would be a low probability outcome for a public prosecutor who has better things to do with taxpayer funds.

 

Prosecutors keep their job by winning cases, not by charging defendants and then losing.

 

 

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. I'm embarrassed to even have to ask these questions, but it's kept me up at nights. I should also mention that the laptop in question was given to the employer one year ago (but I think they just put it on the shelf and did not re-issue it)...so I guess that would make the tampering defense even stronger. The most recent laptop I turned in at my departure had nothing on it.

But I've also heard that they can obtain website records from my internet service provider? Is this making it easier for the prosecution to go after people?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

I think you have an exalted image of the available resources of a typical public prosecutor's office.

 

Anything is possible. But, what you are describing doesn't seem real likely, at least not to me.

 

 

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33482
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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