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Best Practices For Seizing Electronic Evidence v.3: A Pocket Guide for First Responders

NCJ Number
Date Published
24 pages

This guide provides law enforcement personnel with best practices encountered in today’s electronic crime scenes and the seizing of electronic evidence.


Today, electronic evidence comes in the form of stand-alone home personal computers, networked home personal computers, network server/ business networks, storage media, and personal directory assistance (PDA), cell phones, and digital cameras. In this guide, best practices are presented for electronic evidence in the areas of evidence preservation, authority for seizing evidence, home networking elements, crimes and digital evidence, investigative questions, and a photographic gallery of potential electronic evidence. In today’s society, criminals use a host of electronic media and computers in facilitation of their unlawful activities. Modern and current technology permits suspects to commit crimes internationally and remotely, obtain intelligence, and conduct counter-intelligence without being detected. In summary, computers and other electronic media can be used to commit crimes, store evidence of crimes, and provide information on suspects and victims. This field guide is designed to assist law enforcement personnel in recognizing how computers and electronic devices may be used as an instrument of a crime or as a storage device for evidence in a host of Federal and State crimes. In addition, the guide assists law enforcement in properly securing evidence and transporting it for examination by a digital evidence forensic examiner. Glossary