I recently went through the Basic Computer Evidence Recovery Training course at the National Computer Forensics Institute (which I HIGHLY recommend). I got back to my office about three weeks ago and have been handed a load of evidence to begin processing since we had previously been using the state crime lab for our electronic forensic needs. Now, just three weeks after returning from the class, I am beginning to fill the data storage that is built into the forensic machine they issued to me. We also have concerns about keeping our software renewed and funded. Bottom line is we need some funds to keep this thing rolling. While tossing this around a bit in our office, we began to ask if we could assess a lab fee like the state crime lab does for processing blood, drugs... etc. and charge the bad guy restitution for the lab processing. We have some concerns if this is legal to do or not. Does anyone have any ideas or can anyone point me in the right direction to come up with an answer? My gut says that this may have to be set up as its own entity and not a subset of the DA Office budget to allow it to work.
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