The 3CFL is a one stop, full service digital forensic laboratory and training center devoted entirely to the examination of digital evidence in support of criminal investigations.
Tips for Law Enforcement
When submitting a Request for Examination Form - The case agent or officer should be as concise and thorough as possible. This form used to make decisions about the request, therefore, any vague or ambiguous terminology may make it more difficult to interpret or understand what services are needed. As a result, delays in processing the request may occur.
Turning On or Accessing the device - Indicate on the Request for Examination Form if you or anyone else in the chain of custody attempted to turn on or access the device prior to submittal. This is very important information for the Examiners to have.
Search Warrants – If a field service request is pursuant to a search warrant, include a copy of the warrant with the Field Service Request form. Likewise, if the service request is a result of a consensual search, a copy of the agency's "consent for search" form must be included. Failure to include this documentation may cause a delay in processing the request.
Handling Sensitive Equipment – Always use extreme caution or take precautionary measures such as grounding the static electricity before touching any of the internal components of the computer or handling sensitive electronic equipment. For example, if the internal workings of a computer are exposed, the equipment could be damaged by a buildup of static electricity that is held by the human body. (Walking across a rug can produce a static electricity voltage of up to 12,000 volts.) The hard drive is especially susceptible to static electricity, even if it is exposed to a small amount of voltage, while a microchip can be damaged with as little as 500 volts of static electricity. If you're unsure about how to handle the equipment--defer to a professional.
Request an Examination
Request for Examination Form
Download the request for exam form, complete it and either bring it with you or email it to the manager for processing. Please be sure to fill out the form ENTIRELY before submission.
Any law enforcement agencies working with the 3CFL have access to assistance with the following activities—
Search warrant preparation (as it applies to digital evidence). The 3CFL will provide advising on affidavit related language.
Duplication, Storage and Preservation of Electronic Equipment and other Digital Evidence
In order to conduct examinations, the original evidence is typically copied. Therefore, 3CFL Examiners either duplicate or copy the information from the media on-site, or the electronic equipment will be brought to the laboratory where they will both duplicate the media and perform the examination.
Prompt, Accurate, and Impartial Examinations of Digitally Stored Media
3CFL Examiners are scientists. Their mission is to conduct thorough and objective examinations of digital evidence to ultimately turn it into something that an investigator can review. Examiners do not assume the responsibility to analyze data for any deeper meaning or significance to an investigation. Both their findings and subsequent court testimony are made more credible because of this attention to impartiality and objectivity.
As records are recovered from seized digital evidence, the prosecutor will likely direct the Examiner to introduce the evidence into court. As an expert witness, the Examiner explains, under oath, how the examination was conducted and what was discovered as a result.