Computer Search Versus Technical-Scientific Finding

Author:Radu Slavoiu
LESIJ NO. XXV, VOL. 2/2018
The study intends to establish delimitation between computer search and technical -scientific
finding, having as a starting point certain cases encountered in the judicial practice when the law
enforcement authorities confused the scopes of these two evidentiary procedures. The author
emphasises that such an error can injure the fundamental rights of the parties of the criminal case,
including the right of defence that the suspect or the defendant has, and can lead to the exclusion of the
gathered evidence.
Keywords: search, technical-scientific finding, computer system, the role of the specialists, the
exclusionary rule.
1. Introduction
It is a more and more frequent practice
that law enforcement bodies, especially
during the criminal investigation stage,
confuse the two tec hnical evidentiary
procedures: computer search and technical -
scientific finding of the storage media.
The situation seems to be generated by
the fact that both investigative methods
involve the support of specialists in fields
that exceed criminal procedure, which tends
to generate the perception that it is one and
the same procedure.
Such an evaluation is actually false,
and the decision for a technical-scientific
finding when the case asks for a computer
search can lead to a breach in certain
procedural rules that impact on the rights,
which are guaranteed as a fundamental
principle for the parties of the trial, including
on the right of defence. The problem does
not imply a simple displacement of
evidentiary procedures and this is due to the
fact that the Criminal P rocedure Code
Assistant Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Nicolae Titulescu” University, Bucharest (e-mail:
stipulates considerably different norms in
respect to the computer search co mpared
with the technical-scientific finding.
Therefore, the consequences can take severe
forms, up to the point of a nullity of the
procedure and to the exclusion of evidence.
This study intends to wise up the
fundamental differences bet ween the t wo
evidentiary procedures and to identify the
situations and circumstances in which the
judicial authority can resort t o one of them
and to offer solutions in order to rectify an
inconsistency in case of evidence collection
during a criminal case. The anal ysis is
structured based on a real case identified in
the practice of the criminal investigation
bodies, and the arguments shall capitalize
the aspects that the doctrine has developed
till now regarding the scientific evidentiary
Jurisprudence recorded the following

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