Sunday, July 21, 2024

Can Your Cell Phone Exonerate You?

By Annie Beles

You have been accused of a crime and you know that you were not in the area. What do you do? Call the lawyers at Beles & Beles to help you get the proof of your innocence.

We live in a time when our phones track our every move. When we make a call, the phone “pings” off of a local cell tower. When we receive a text or call, our phones utilize a local cell tower. We ask for directions from our location - our phone locates us specifically. We ask if there is a nearby restaurant, it locates us. All of this can be used to help in a criminal case.

Beles & Beles Attorneys Fight Cell Phone Warrants

Cellular telephone technology can both help and hurt us. The government has access to a host of cellular telephone tracking technology. Annie Beles has successfully fought, and won, murder cases where the main evidence was that of tracking cellular telephones.

Local law enforcement may request something known as an “emergency ping” of any cell phone. A judge must sign a warrant, but far too often, the judge is not given all of the information about the intrusion into a person’s privacy. We fight these warrants with Motions to Quash and Motions to Traverse. We have successfully accessed information that the police tried to hide in their warrant applications.

Cell Phone Tracking Technologies: Stingray and Hemisphere

Sometimes, the government also uses secret technologies such as Stingray or Hemisphere. Stingray mimics a cell tower in order to trace a specific phone number. Hemisphere, which may now be called Hailstorm, is technology that traces a phone from the regular numbers that it calls. Hemisphere will then track a new phone number that calls the same numbers with any frequency.

Cell Phone Tracking in the San Francisco Bay Area

According to one news report, the Oakland police department was one of the first law enforcement agencies to purchase a Stingray. The Stingray is also reportedly used by the police departments in San Francisco and Fremont.

Cell site simulators are being used by many federal agencies, and sometimes in conjunction with local agencies.

Whether you are facing state or federal charges, the lawyers at Beles & Beles know about this technology and can fight it if it is being used against you.

Cell Phone Tracker Technology to Help Your Case

A recent article in the New York Times explored the disparity in the use of forensic evidence between the prosecution and defense attorneys.  According to the article, “public defenders lack access to gadgets and software that could keep their clients out of jail.” The attorneys at Beles & Beles do have access to these technologies and use them to benefit our client’s cases when appropriate.

We know how to get our own experts to use cellular telephone technology to help you. We use experts to conduct cell phone searches - using a program called “CellBrite” - that mirrors a phone at the time of its seizure. We, too, can locate your cell phone at specific times - to help you.


About Annie Beles

Annie Beles is a partner and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist at the Law Offices of Beles & Beles. Ms. Beles is passionate about defending her clients. She has tried over fifty serious felony trials, including 25 homicides.

Since 1979, Beles & Beles has been the Bay Area’s preeminent Criminal Defense and Immigration Law firm. The firm includes attorneys who are Certified Specialists in criminal, immigration and appellate law.

State Certified Specialists
Robert Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Anne Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Paul McCarthy - State Certified Appellate Law Specialist
Emilio Parker - State Certified Immigration Law Specialist
California Board of Legal Specialization

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