Thursday, July 19, 2012
In the State of New Jersey the prosecutor has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant need not produce any evidence of his innocence’s However, in reality, as any criminal defense attorney will tell you who is being honest with himself will say that in most criminal cases if you want the jury to acquit your client the defendant must actually present sufficient evidence to prove he or she is innocent and did not commit the crime. That unfortunately is the reality of the criminal justice system in this country. Having said that an important tool that a criminal defendant can use to prove his innocence’s is the cell phone tower record subpoena.
In some cases it is relevant to prove that the defendant was not at the scene or within the closest tower range of a crime or incident. In that case do not expect the investigating authorites to subpoena these records and prove that your client was not at the scene of the crime. In reality and truth they have zero interest in obtaining any evidence to prove that your client is innocent. At every crime scene there is usually some mobile device which will reveal which parties were within a specific tower range.
In law enforcement terminology this is referred to as a cell tower “dump”, which specifically means to the carriers that you are seeking data on all subscribers who were near a tower during a certain period of time. Usually such requests will produce hundreds if not thousands of names and phone numbers depending on the time period and length of time requested.
Therefore, when location of your client is an issue the defense attorney must exercise his subpoena power to
Pursuant to a subpoena defense counsel can subpoena the tower records from the defendant’s mobile cell phone service provider to obtain the names and numbers of all subscribers who were receiving and transmitting phone messages on a certain date and time. With all mobile phones there is a GPS system imbedded into the phone which reveals were the phone is transmitting from. The carriers usually charge between $50.00 to $75.00 per hour for this service but in the right case can mean the difference between the defendant being convicted and going to jail and exoneration.
In addition to exonerating the defendant the cell phone tower records can be used for impeachment purposes against a co-defendant, cooperating witness, or others, who perjury themselves by stating that they were nowhere near the scene of the alleged crime or incident.
In the final analysis the cell phone tower “dump” subpoena is an important defense tool that must be pursued in the right case.
Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
Dated: July 19, 2012
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