Legal aspects constrain digital and forensic investigations. Legal experts, therefore, should be interrogated to determine the proper and legal frameworks within which the investigations should occur. Legal experts relate to the investigations because they determine the landscape of investigation activities like report documentation. The law requires standardization and recognition of terminologies used in writing the final report to avoid miscommunication and deliberate errors to confuse individuals who are not tech-savvy (Nortje et al., 2019). The legal experts also provide the legal frameworks with which forensic investigation activities are undertaken and the management of results. They facilitate effective and fair investigative processes. In this dimension, the legal experts involved in the investigation do not provide information that is directly linked to the crime or the crime scene. Instead, they dictate the investigative processes and procedures with which the forensic experts carry out the investigations.
Forensic Consultants and Experts
Collection, documentation, and interpretation of digital evidence is a primary function of forensic specialists. Forensic consultants define the landscape of activities surrounding the forensic investigation. It includes outlining of the investigative process, and proper collection, and analysis of information (Nortje et al., 2019). Their relationship with the investigation regards professionalism and proper investigation. Forensic experts engaged in the investigation provide information that directly influences the investigations. They tailor the investigations by outlining the policies, steps, and requirements of a credible forensic investigation.
Forensic investigations aim at addressing cases to substantiate the attainment of justice for the affected individuals. During forensic investigations, victims become significant sources of information with which the investigations can be carried out. Even though they may provide either digital, non-digital pieces of evidence or even both, victims should be interviewed so that they can record a statement of the events that took place prior to, during, and after the criminal acts (Toomey, 2010).
Witnesses refer to individuals who catch the sight of a criminal act. Their relationship with the crimes regards the fact that they see criminal offenses unfold, and thus, they are reliable sources of information that can aid investigations. Witnesses can provide both non-digital and digital pieces of evidence to investigators (Toomey, 2010). The information provided by witnesses describes the actual events proceeding, during, and after the crime occurs. These pieces of evidence are crucial in the reconstruction of the criminal acts, hence, resolution.
A forensic investigation refers to the process of father and analysis of crime-related pieces of evidence to conclude suspects. Forensic investigations occur in particular setups and follow particular protocols for successful investigations (Nortje & Myburgh, 2019). The interview will occur in a forensic laboratory where all the investigation tools are available. Also, forensic experts are available in forensic laboratories, and this enables easy consultation whenever the need arises.
Even though mainstream forensic investigation processes occur in five distinct steps, they can be broken down into activities preceding the investigation, during, and after the investigation. Legal provisions constrain forensic investigations, and this makes adherence to the provisions of the law the first move before commencing the investigations. Ensuring that all the legal requirements are met is vital. Also, verifying whether or not all the necessary tools are available is prudent. It is essential to establish that every instrument required for the investigation is available to avoid inconveniences during the research. During the study, adhering to the standards and outline procedures for forensic investigations is crucial. Observing the outlined forensic investigation procedures lead to the attainment of accurate and viable results (Nortje & Myburgh, 2019). The last step would be the conclusion of the forensic investigation based on the results obtained. The conclusion of the research will require consultation of forensic experts and legal officials to ascertain that the investigation has fallen within the requirements and factors constraining forensic investigation activities.
The stages, as mentioned above of forensic investigations, have characteristic importance to the process. The first stage regards ascertaining whether or not the investigation meets the bare minimum requirements of a forensic investigation. It revolves around observing the protocols and the acquisition of tools needed to perform the investigation. The essence of ascertaining the attainment of these requirements ensure that the research process is smooth and successful (Nortje & Myburgh, 2019). When forensic investigators acquire all the tools necessary for the investigation and ensure that every preparation is in place, the investigation is bound to be error-free.
Forensic investigations are undertaken in different stages. The essence of observing a procedural investigation is obtaining accurate results. Also, it avoids probable mix-ups and confusion that may arise from disorganized research (Nortje & Myburgh, 2019). When the investigation processes are not procedural, confusion is imminent. Consequently, the results will be unrealistic and inaccurate. Procedural investigations become easy, error-free, and it helps in creating links between the various stages of the investigation. The various stages of forensic investigations build upon each other. Therefore, when the various stages of the investigation are independently carried out, they lead the performance of the subsequent stages. As such, the results will be credible.
Concluding the forensic investigation is the last stage. When concluding the investigations, specific activities like cross-checking of the results are important. The various experts involved in the investigations echo their views and opinions about the process. Conclusive activities provide solid ground regarding the criminal act under investigation (Nortje & Myburgh, 2019). The conclusion significantly tells more about the nature of the crime, its occurrence, and its motivation.
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