In 2022, a lot of crime involves a digital element. The digital element can be anything from text messages to complex cyber attacks on organizational networks.
If you’re prosecuting, a digital forensics expert can help you build a stronger case by gathering and documenting evidence and testifying in court on their findings.
Fact witness vs. expert witness
Not every digital forensics professional can qualify as an expert witness. The jury will determine whether someone is qualified to give a testimony based on the witness’s CV and experience. It would also be ideal to work with someone with past experience as a digital forensics expert witness, although an impressive CV and years of field experience can make up for that.
One important distinction is between a fact witness and an expert witness. A fact witness gives the facts around the investigation. They explain the evidence and how it was obtained, without offering conclusions about what the evidence means.
On the other hand, an expert witness has years of experience in digital forensics and will form opinions based on observations and deductive reasoning. The opinions are what make the witness an expert. An expert witness will not only provide the cold facts, but will also figure out how these findings relate to other details in the case, with the primary goal of helping the client.
The role of a digital forensics expert witness
A digital forensic expert witness is typically contacted by an attorney representing a client or directly by a client involved in a court case. An expert witness must establish good communication with the attorney early in the case and gather all essential facts, including:
Case details and timelines
Opposing expert and fact witnesses
Once expert witnesses have all the facts, they’re ready to start working on the case. The expert gathers relevant evidence while documenting all of their actions and tools used.
During the testimony, the expert witness chronologically describes events along with their findings. Apart from technical knowledge, a digital forensics expert witness must also know how to explain technical terms to the jurors.
In a trial, opposing attorneys will try to interrupt, discredit, or otherwise jeopardize an expert witness’s testimony. That’s why it’s ideal to hire someone with years of experience in handling high-pressure situations who can stand their ground when faced with hostile cross-examiners.
How SecurityScorecard can help
SecurityScorecard’s digital forensics team has decades of combined experience gathering and presenting digital evidence. Our experts have conducted a wide range of court expert witness testimonies, including Federal Courts.
We ensure the availability and guarantee the authenticity of data and information for law enforcement investigations. The evidence provided by our team is always admissible in court.
Our digital forensics experts have played a key role in many criminal cases involving a digital element. These include organized cybercrime, online money laundering schemes, cyberstalking, data breach litigation, digital extortion, ransomware hacking incidents, DDoS attacks, and more.
If you are seeking court-admissible evidence gathering or expert testimony, contact our digital forensics team.