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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26177
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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Can the police contact\interview friends they find by reviewing

Resolved Question:

Can the police contact\interview friends they find by reviewing your text logs? With or without subpoena?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 7 months ago.

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

Customer:

Thanks

Customer:

do you have an answer?

JD 1992 :

Did they get these text logs from your phone, from the provider, etc.?

Customer:

presumably.......

JD 1992 :

Which ?

Customer:

from the provider

JD 1992 :

Did they seize your phone? If so, under what circumstances?

Customer:

no

Customer:

I have my phone

Customer:

they accessed the text logs

JD 1992 :

But they didn't get it from you directly?

Customer:

no

Customer:

No criminal activity on my part

JD 1992 :

How do you know they accessed the logs?

Customer:

no discussion of any criminal activity in text messages

Customer:

I think they got the phone logs from my cell phone company

JD 1992 :

How do you know they got them?

Customer:

I don't

Customer:

assuming

JD 1992 :

Okay. I'll have to use some generalities then.

Customer:

okay

JD 1992 :

Assuming that they didn't use those super secret sections of the Patriot Act and national security laws that have been in the news lately then they would have had to use a subpoena to get them.

Customer:

Correct

JD 1992 :

But regardless of whether they did or they didn't, the issue will come down to whether they had probable cause to access the text logs. Probable cause is a very, very low standard that is basically equivalent to a suspicion.

Customer:

Correct

JD 1992 :

There is nothing that prevents them from contacting your friends and interviewing them about anything they want to.

Customer:

my thought

Customer:

okay

JD 1992 :

However, if they did that based on something they saw in the text logs and the text logs were obtained without probable cause then everything is subject to suppression by the court.

Customer:

if they have a subpeona

Customer:

correcta/

JD 1992 :

In addition, it could also be a violation of your civil rights.\

JD 1992 :

The same goes whether it is a subpoena or not.

Customer:

when you say something they saw in the logs

Customer:

that would mean a conversation

JD 1992 :

Possibly. It could also be the location and timing of when you sent a text.

JD 1992 :

The phone companies know which cell tower you "hit" to send the text.

JD 1992 :

That gives them a general area you would have been in.

Customer:

what if there is no conversation remotely about the topic of their investigation. I say that because I haven't done anything wrong, and I have never engaged in any text conversation about the topic in question ever.

JD 1992 :

It's also possible to get a general route that was follows by getting this info from a string of texts.

Customer:

the person in question was a failed romance, who was probably upset

JD 1992 :

That last one is kind of a rhetorical question/

Customer:

But even with a subpoena, they can't interview people, unless there are conversations related to the putative topic of the investigation.

JD 1992 :

No, there is no need for a subpoena to interview people.

Customer:

I got that

Customer:

But if there is no conversation in the text log

JD 1992 :

They can interview people without even probable cause.

Customer:

what is the basis for the interview?

Customer:

they can just interview any person that you text or email if they get the name

JD 1992 :

Yes, that is generally true.

Customer:

got it

JD 1992 :

However,,,

Customer:

and they don't have to show probable cause to get access to the log

JD 1992 :

No, that's incorrect. They would have to have a reason to subpoena a record like the log.

JD 1992 :

Let me give you an example...

Customer:

okay

JD 1992 :

not using your facts.

Customer:

okay

JD 1992 :

Let's say the police broke into your house just to poke around and see what they could find.

Customer:

if someone exaggerated information on a resume

JD 1992 :

And while in there they found a notebook that had a list of people's names and they then used that notebook to find people and talk to them.

Customer:

could they use that fact as basis to subpoena phone logs?

Customer:

got it

JD 1992 :

I wouldn't see how. There is nothing illegal about exaggerating on a resume.

JD 1992 :

Back to my exaample...

JD 1992 :

Anything they found from talking to those people couldn't be used in trial because the initial search was illegal and therefore anything that comes from that is known as a "fruit of the poisonous tree".

Customer:

or even fabricating an employment or event on a resume

Customer:

exactly

Customer:

I get that

JD 1992 :

No, still not illegal so it shouldn't be used as the basis for a subpoena or to get the phone logs.

Customer:

thank you

Customer:

That makes sense

JD 1992 :

I don't know of any cell company that provides cell records or text messages without a subpoena.

JD 1992 :

Again, leaving out the national security issues.

Customer:

there are rumours in California

Customer:

local police

Customer:

no national security

Customer:

a friend saying they played on a women's college golf team when they didn't, would not be a basis for subpoena?

JD 1992 :

No, I can't see how.

JD 1992 :

Unless they were somehow using that in a scam or something like that. Not just on an employment resume.

Customer:

or verbally saying they were a cpa when they were not. but without practicing, making any attempt to practice. Just the oral statement I am a CPA or was a CPA

JD 1992 :

No, again, not unless it was somehow used for an illegal activity.

Customer:

but actually having an accounting masters........just never passing the exam.......not used for any activity at all...beyond cocktail party yada yada yada

Customer:

that would not be probable cause for subpoena either

JD 1992 :

No..

Customer:

okay....thanks

JD 1992 :

You're very welcome. Anything else I can assist with before I exit to help others?

Customer:

so basic lying orally without illegal act or overt act does not get probable cause

JD 1992 :

Correct.

Customer:

no.......I am good...........thanks so much

JD 1992 :

You're welcome.

JD 1992 :

Best wishes to you. Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) so I get credit for my work. The experts only get credit from the website when you issue a Positive Rating.

Customer:

have a good nite

Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26177
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
Dwayne B. and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

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