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How Will Missing Evidence Data Affect Criminal Cases in Dallas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Plano Criminal Defense LawyerA major Dallas Police Department data deletion could have a significant impact on many of the department’s criminal cases currently pending. According to information released to the public, the deleted data includes case files, evidence, case notes, videos, and audio recordings. To compound the issue, the Dallas County District Attorney's office did not learn about the issue until months after it occurred.

How Was All the Data Lost?

According to information finally provided to Dallas city officials, an IT worker who was employed by the city accidentally deleted approximately eight terabytes of police data. Officials originally found out about the deletion through media reports or from the District Attorney, who had only recently learned of what had happened. The data deletion occurred in March, but the District Attorney’s Office did not learn of the incident until August when they questioned the police department about why there were missing files in pending cases.

Once city officials were informed of the issue, they had their own internal audit done. That audit identified an additional 15 terabytes of missing files, with the potential of discovering even more as the internal investigation continues.

Officials say it is too early to estimate how many criminal cases are affected and what kind of impact this will have on those cases.

Other Issues with Evidence

Earlier this year, another audit concluded that the way the Dallas Police Department stores evidence was unacceptable. The audit found that the department uses incomplete and outdated operating procedures and stores evidence in unsuitable locations.

When a person is charged with a crime, a jury must find them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order for them to be convicted of that crime. One of the main factors prosecutors use in securing a conviction is evidence. Without sufficient evidence, there is little chance of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, unless there is sufficient evidence or if that evidence has been tainted, a judge will not allow prosecutors to proceed with a case and will dismiss the charges against the defendant.

Contact a Denton County Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you should have an aggressive Dallas criminal defense attorney defending you and ensuring your rights are protected. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2021/08/dallas-police-data-deletion-is-worse-than-the-city-thought/

https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/audit-finds-deficiencies-in-dpd-storage-of-evidence-property-11996465

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