Before the 21st century, court trials depended on tangible documentary evidence and in-person witness testimonies to support a case. However, in the past few decades technology has evolved in virtually every area of life to provide heretofore unavailable information. The modern courtroom now utilizes various technology-based evidentiary media that did not exist before. These innovative uses of cellular service and the Internet are providing significant support to help attorneys win legal cases in court.
Email and the Internet
Although email has been in general use since the 1980s, it has grown exponentially since then. Internet use has exploded since before the 21st century. Many personal and professional users believed that deleting an email message or Internet search history would eliminate these potential evidence sources forever, but that is not the case. Technical experts can often retrieve deleted email records to show actual messages sent and received, as well as Internet searches conducted and sites visited. This type of information can be used in a trial as evidence for or against plaintiffs and defendants.
Cell Phones and Social Media
Smart phone texting history can also be retrieved through technical means, even messages that have been deleted. Transcripts of conversations can be used in legal proceedings to reveal relevant information that is pertinent to a person’s testimony or circumstances. Photos and forwarded messages may also be accessed. Social media accounts, even those that have been closed or deleted, can sometimes be accessed for useful information about a legal case or those involved. People often post things about themselves online or send pictures through texting that they would not share via other media.
Home video cameras installed for security purposes can be very useful during a legal case. Home break-ins or robberies can be documented on video and transmitted to the homeowner’s cell phone using a mobile app or stored in a records file until needed. Video documentation of certain behaviors or individuals can help to confirm identity and clarify actions when accusations are made against one or more suspects concerning home property intrusion or illicit activities. The proliferation of security providers like Johns Brothers Security has made having security cameras in homes and businesses much more common.
The legal system is aggressively making use of technological means to prosecute and defend people involved in a courtroom trial. Evidence has never before been so easily collected and stored for potential legal use as it is today, thanks to the Internet and cellular services widely used in our country and around the world.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.