How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I have accessed my brother in law email account and found evidence

Customer Question

I have accessed my brother in law email account and found evidence of his extra marital affair. I have made him aware that I have seen this evidence
I am aware that I have broken the law; but what are the consequences if he chooses to take legal action ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
It is a computer misuse offence.
If you have hacked into his password ***** that is hacking as well I'm afraid.
Both are criminal offences. Whether the police would be interested is another matter. Neither offence leads to a substantial sentence in the UK.
The bigger issue is that you probably wouldn't be allowed to use any evidence obtained in this way in court.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo; thanks for your reply.My brother in law has been lying and cheating for the last 12 months and I used the password ***** my sister gave to me as she set up his email account. I then accessed the email account and found the evidence of an extra marital affair spanning back many months. Which he has lied about. I have made him aware that I have seen these messages and he has threatened legal action against me.I totally appreciate that I should have not have viewed his emails and he has every right to be angry with me.I believe he is building a case against my sister to ruin her character and yet all the time he is the one who is cheating. If he took me to court ; then I think there are mitigating circumstances; but still; I appreciate that I have accessed his account without permission.What can I do ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo - should I go to a local solicitor now and share my case or wait to see if he chooses to report me ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am really worried Jo, because I have a very important job in the banking industry and am worried that at the very least I will lose this should he report me and it goes to court. I am also worried that I will be sent to prison for hacking his email account. I am trying not to overreact as I appreciate there are mitigating circumstances; but still, I appreciate the law is the law and hacking is a crime. What do you suggest I do ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, this disappeared off my question list.
If you need to avoid a criminal conviction then do not get involved in this. It is her problem anyway not yours.
If it is too late then we will have to take our chances.
To be wholly honest, mitigation doesn't help very much. He may very well be a thorough rogue. That is your sister's problem not yours. You can be a supportive sibling without placing yourself at risk and you will notice that it is you now facing the risk of police interest while she is escaping scott free.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already made him aware that I have seen these emails. Hence why he threatened legal action. The evidence is clear that I have logged into his email account.I fear that I have made it all worse.Will I go to prison ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No.
But it is the impact on your career.
Can he prove it was you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes he will be able to prove that I have read his emails. I was with my sister at the time and he knows that we have both read the audit trail. I can't deny it; so I just needed to know the potential consequences of any action should he choose to take any.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, you can't deny it but you could put them to proof. But if he can prove it then it is a dead end.
It is just really a matter of hoping that he won't report it or if he does the police won't be interested which might happen. The police are too busy pursuing false allegations of historical sexual abuse at the moment to deal with any proper crime.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has spoken to my sister tonight and he seemed more concerned about what action she would take with the information which she has read. She has told him that she will be doing nothing with the information; other than asking him to continue to support their children financially and provide regular childcare to help her out. They actually appeared to have a sensible conversation, which is the first time this has happened in months. My brother in law knows exactly how much I support my sister with their two children and I am hoping that he will consider any potential fall out of that should he report me. If I lose my job; then that will have a major impact on how I can support my sister and their two children. He understands this. I hope he stays calm and moves on.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, he will be thinking of that too.
For future reference, never place yourself at risk in this way to assist another. This was not your problem and you have been placed at risk.