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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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victims privacy? i have 2 sexual assault cases pending against

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victim's privacy? i have 2 sexual assault cases pending against 2 different men. they're in the investigation stage. I feel uncomfortable thinking that investigators may look at all my texts, emails, etc. Legally I'm not concerned, just don't like it.. Without my permission would they need to a warrant to access this data? If so, would I be notified/aware of that happening?
Welcome back to JustAnswer.

Are you referring to them obtaining this information from your cell phone company and email service providers or do they have possession of your phone and computer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi :)

I'm referring to A or perhaps remote access to my computer. Basically any way that doesn't involve them having my physical phone and computer.


Ok, that's what I thought, but just wanted to make sure. As the victim, it would be very unusual for the police to try to retrieve your text messages and emails. If they wanted to look at any texts/emails between you and the suspects they would likely just ask you.

If they did try to get your texts and email:

(1) Most cell phone companies do not keep text message content. Back several years ago they did, but then text messaging exploded and rather than pay millions for extra computer storage to save them the phone companies just stopped saving the content. I have had one case ever where we got text message content from a cell phone provider and that was from Cingular before they were AT&T. AT&T no longer saves content. Some cell phone providers do save content but only for a very short period of time (i.e., 48 hours). So even in the unlikely event that they sought the content of your text messages from your cell provider it would not be technically possible if weeks or months have passed.

They can subpoena your phone records pretty easily, but that just tells them the date, time, sending & receiving numbers of your calls and texts. It's very similar to what you see on your phone bill.

(2) Emails - This might be possible depending on the retention policies of your email service provider. For instance, I believe Google's Gmail keeps six months of content. Google would notify you unless the subpoena or court order ordered them not to reveal the disclosure.

(3) Remote access - I have never seen that happen. It would require a warrant and may be something the NSA engages in, but not local law enforcement.

In summary, I wouldn't worry about it. It's very unlikely that they would seek this information, and even if they did, there is probably not much that they could get.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX happen to know about yahoo email?

A couple of years ago Yahoo extended retention of their internet search history from 90 days to 18 months. I would expect their email retention to be the same, but I am not 100% certain of that.

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