DGAA bLAWg

How Lawyers Use Digital Evidence in Court

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

criminal defense digital evidenceThe advent of computer technology has reshaped the way that people communicate with each other, as well as how they treat information. This has created an interesting ripple effect in courts, which now have to deal with lawyers seeking to use digital evidence in court, which includes things like incriminating emails, computer files, and Facebook posts. 

The use of this sort of evidence comes with a variety of hurdles that an attorney must clear. The attorney must prove that the evidence is authentic and untampered with, as well as show that the records are acceptable as testimony. Prosecutors in a criminal case have a higher standard to meet, needing to show that their obtaining the evidence did not violate the defendant's privacy rights.

Hurdles to Using Digital Evidence

Lawyers face three hurdles in using digital evidence: authentication, hearsay, and privacy. Authentication refers to the need to demonstrate that the digital evidence is genuine and that no one fabricated or tampered with it. This is more difficult to show with things like emails than with physical letters because people can easily edit or alter the email's text to change the substance of the message. However, many courts still set a fairly low standard of authenticity for allowing the lawyers to present evidence to the jury; they leave the final determination of genuineness to the jury itself.

The next exception to the use of digital evidence is the rule forbidding “hearsay” testimony, which digital evidence often qualifies as. Hearsay is a statement made outside of a courtroom that the lawyer is attempting to use to prove the truth of whatever the statement is about. For instance, if a defendant is on trial for murder and one witness testifies that another witness told them they had seen the defendant commit the murder, that testimony would be hearsay since the testifying witness is just reciting an out-of-court statement.

Finally, in criminal cases, the prosecution must also show that the police obtained the evidence without violating a person's 4th Amendment rights. In many cases this means that the police must have received a warrant to perform the search, but there are exceptions to this. For instance, in the civil case of Largent v. Reed, the court determined that people do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in regards to the things they post to Facebook, which would mean that a warrant would not be required to look through a person's Facebook profile.

How People Can Protect Themselves

Protecting online and digital information is a difficult prospect. Often, awareness of the public nature of things like Facebook posts, internet searches, and emails can help people stay alert to the fact that such things may be available as evidence in court. This can help modify people's behavior, and make them more careful about the sort of information that they make digitally available. Beyond that, there are some programs that can encrypt private data, but these can often be decrypted throughout the discovery process.

If you are concerned about the use of digital evidence against you in a trial, contact a Barrington criminal defense attorney today. Our firm represents clients across many northwest suburban towns like Rolling Meadows, Palatine, and Schaumburg.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.


Recent Posts


Tags

Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers institutional trustee boating accidents Illinois personal injury lawyer CAM corporate law sexual harassment Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Arlington Heights lawyer unpaid assessment car accident lawyer personal injury Arlington Heights insurance attorney Barrington criminal lawyer Policy Cancellation Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act insurance negligence Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney owner responsibility texting and driving Illinois bicycle safety insurance agents Palatine law firm Rolling Meadows Attorney IRA benefits financial advisors Detainer Actions distracted driving accident victims Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers denied insurance claims Fourth of July Illinois collections attorney Illinois employment law firm eluding a police officer Chicago traffic lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Palatine punch death truck collisions Liquor Control Act Illinois medical malpractice claim drunk driving statistics trustee meal breaks Long Grove estate planning real estate lawyer rollover car crashes liens golf accidents income distribution deducation vacation home sexual images car crash attorney fees Chicago estate planning lawyer wage theft insurance dispute attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney contracts Illinois insurance disputes Chicago insurance claim attorneys medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers estate planning Illinois tax attorney Barrington employment law firm liability Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Illinois home inspection breach of contract murder comp time Illinois driving without license Des Plaines collections attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer DUI condo association unpaid overtime Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Illinois traffic attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer Illinois workplace lawyer life insurance controlled substance Illinois traffic attorneys drug crime Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Des Plaines pet law attorney Illinois wills Palatine insurance lawyer Buffalo Grove employment lawyer holiday statistics homestead rights Illinois elder law attorney insurance denials Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, license Retaliatory Discharge Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys Mount Prospect elder law attorney advance healthcare directive condo Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Des Plaines claims law firm Illinois insurance attorney Deer Park real estate law firm Illinois employment laws Chicago employment attorney Palatine probate lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney Barrington drug crime attorney Illinois insurance dispute lawyers insurance claim denial Palatine elder law attorney defective products underfunded trust Inverness probate lawyer Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Illinois Smoke Detector Act gift taxes Deer Park employment law attorney health insurance dispute consent to a search IRELA Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer medical malpractice claims slip and fall accidents Barrington business law firm overtime violations Schaumburg personal injury lawyers DNR Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act workers compensation benefits Fair Labor Standards Act probate process Crystal Lake law firm Illinois personal injury wills and trusts minimum wage Des Plaines real estate lawyer DMV Crystal Lake accident attorney workers compensation defective products lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney traffic deaths texting while driving jet ski accidents Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Illinois trusts attorney automated cars filing a medical malpractice claim pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality murder charges Des Plaines Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois employment law attorney irrevocable trust Schaumburg employment attorney real estate attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer suspended license trench injuries Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer wrongful termination Arlington Heights employment attorney Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Deer Park DUI lawyer personal injury claim Inverness injury lawyer construction accidents Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney IRS criminal defense anesthesia errors employee discrimination LLCs traffic crimes digital information car crashes Rolling Meadows accident lawyer expungement Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument agent Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer preventable medical errors compensatory time Des Plaines real estate attorney real estate closing Barrington estate planning lawyer investment property Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Chicago will attorney pizza emoji Barrington injury attorney Illinois registered agent ACA Illinois mortgages traffic offenses blended families dram shop law Illinois Trust Code estate planning lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney Illinois estate planning field sobriety test federal crimes wrongful death mortgage Schaumburg personal injury attorney Illinois traffic laws Chicago attorney FSLA Colin H. Gilbert personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Illinois employment law elder abuse Chicago lawyer guardianship attorney hiring employees traffic laws accidental death benefits Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Illinois living will Chicago trucking accident attorney digital assets real estate Illinois pet lawyer license reinstatement pregnant women Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Illinois personal injury attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Thanksgiving employment contract Schaumburg wrongful death attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Illinois medical malpractice attorney license revocation Illinois wills and trusts breathalyzer test Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer living trust Schaumburg traffic lawyer living trust benefits medical research Inverness insurance attorney estate plan DUI attorney hands free device Illinois insurance claim attorney estate attorney privacy laws senior citizens caretaker rights Attorney Ken Apicella insurance adjusters Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer civil litigation Deer Park traffic lawyer fatal car accidents no contest clauses bicycle accidents fiduciary rule slip and fall sole proprietorship Palatine criminal defense lawyer personal injury accidents Illinois injury lawyer head on collisions Long Grove estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove law firm commercial leasing low-ball insurance settlement medical malpractice compensation Inverness accident lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney first degree murder medical malpractice Des Plaines drug lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Palatine corporate law attorneys Illinois corporate lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association modern family estate planning IRA trust transfer Schaumburg injury lawyer marijuana cell phone accidents commercial real estate Palatine employment law lawyer reckless homicide Deer Park personal injury lawyer Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Des Plaines personal injury attorney changes to mortgage law preventing accidents boating DUI Palatine Attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Illinois speeding lawyer Schaumburg criminal attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys drug possession traffic tickets Illinois DUI attorney Des Plaines accident attorney car accident Palatine construction attorney foreclosure living trust vs will Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Schaumburg elder law lawyer fiduciary rule delay Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer life insurance policy employment law, Illinois employment laws vacation home fines whistleblower protections insurance agent negligence Inverness traffic law firm swimming pools Transfer on Death Instrument Arlington Heights traffic attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act Family Medical Leave Act healthcare claims Whistleblower Claims Exclusions foreclosed rental property dog bites medical marijuana Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Crystal Lake employment lawyer personal injury claims pedestrian accidents insurance claim denials Deer Park workers compensation lawyer traumatic brain injuries overtime pay rest breaks TBI Rolling Meadows employment attorney trucking accident lawyers Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer motorcycle accident car collision Illinois trucking safety Jay Andrew creditors Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer insurance claim dispute Illinois small business Palatine civil attorney bad faith insurance claims Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer loopholes Illinois employment lawyer Schaumburg insurance lawyers job lawyers Illinois workers compensation lawyer trusts installment contracts Illinois real estate rent to own real estate contracts Chicago corporate attorney unauthorized overtime Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Arlington Heights accident attorney Des Plaines insurance attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney underinsured motorist deadly crashes marijuana crimes attorney School Visitation Rights Act rollover accidents Arlington Heights tax lawyer elder law power of attorney for healthcare personal injury law firm Illinois estate planning law firm manufacturing Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Home Sale Contingencies Palatine workers compensation lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys car accidents ObamaCare insurance disputes independent contractor employment law Barrington real estate lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers traffic accidents Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois employee rights attorney. Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm Joliet general practice lawyers Arlington Heights trucking lawyer work unions digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, South Barrington real estate attorney Barrington personal injury lawyer tax attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Affordable Care Act loss of consortium Schaumburg criminal law attorney real estate zoning Crystal Lake employment law attorney brain injury criminal record insurance claim delay revenge porn Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Illinois law underage DUI power of attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer car accident lawyers employment attorney POA Deer Park accident attorney estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Schaumburg probate attorney caregiver involuntary manslaughter Chicago employment lawyer new real estate form traumatic brain injury Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer in terrorem provision Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Barrington personal injury attorney probate fees Illinois will lawyer Barrington criminal defense lawyer child safety murder defense subcontractor construction contracts estate planning for college students Des Plaines DUI attorney cell phone tower data Illinois car accident attorney Barrington Traffic Lawyer pet law Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer estate planning trusts fault based insurance Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Arlington Heights car crash attorneys estate tax personal injury lawyer BAC small business insurance claims trauma after an accident Arlington Heights injury attorney disability benefits Illinois construction accident attorney privacy estate planning attorney coronavirus Inverness estate planning lawyer college kids Crystal Lake tax lawyer medication errors Illinois real estate lawyer startup company Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer paid sick leave Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer pain and suffering workplace sexual harassment Deer Park traffic accident attorney DGAA Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer natural gas explosion Riverwoods estate planning lawyer employees bicycle dooring accidents insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys internet Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Chicago estate planning mass shooting Palatine injury attorney Palatine real estate lawyer blood alcohol content landlord tenant law Illinois lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, probate lawyer Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney drugs residential real estate insurance attorney real estate leasing Inverness DUI lawyer business litigation license suspension liability claims boating under the influence Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers forming a corporation in Illinois probate Illinois probate lawyer Class A misdemeanor appealing an insurance claim denial of life insurance Colin Gilbert natural gas Inverness elder law lawyer civil rights violation hit and run accident right to work surgical mistakes Palatine employment lawyer healthcare car crash injuries Schaumburg employment law attorneys life insurance claims Palatine employment attorney Arlington Heights TBI attorney distracted driving accidents trust payments Illinois medical malpractice lawyers uninsured motorist Inverness civil lawyer Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney pedestrian-automobile accident Rolling Meadows PTSD ken apicella employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Palatine estate planning lawyer Illinois business lawyer Barrington litigation attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer Legal Info insurance claim dispute attorney Chicago biking tips Illinois Probate Act of 1975 deed transfer Palatine personal injury lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys Inverness real estate lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer crossover accidents workers comp Do Not Resuscitate Schaumburg real estate lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys personal injury attorney taxes Employment Discrimination Law premises liability drunk driving Illinois Sales Representative Act FMLA auto accidents employment lawyer problem employees jet ski Palatine traffic lawyer capital gains tax Forcible Entry Chicago car accident lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents cell phone Illinois business law atorneys traffic violations dealing with problem employees Barrington workers compensation attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute spinal cord injuries Long Grove real estate attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer real estate attorneys Schaumburg Attorney Palatine traffic accidents driving nursing home negligence Schaumburg car accident attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer severance agreements Rolling Meadows tax attorney Palatine business attorney Illinois LLC creation Illinois traffic accident lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Schaumburg Self-Directed IRA Accounts drug crimes construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer clemency Crystal Lake pet attorney landlord bike accident products liability unfunded trust Palatine corporate attorney Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers traffic violations defense Barrington estate planning attorney DUI penalities denied insurance claim Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Barrington civil litigation attorney Illinois workers compensation attorney Illinois red light cameras insurance denial appeals Deer Park criminal attorney spinal cord injury Inverness real estate attorney insurance dispute real estate contract Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney BUI drug crimes lawyer rumble strips Barrington employment law attorney Barrington attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, food poisoning Inverness corporate attorney operating agreements Illinois personal injury lawyers criminal law Rolling Meadows criminal attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Barrington employment attorney pedestrian accident Illinois workplace discrimination attorney trucking accidents Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Buffalo Grove corporate attorney insurance claim Chicago insurance law firm Schaumburg drug defense lawyer dynasty trusts Crystal Lake will lawyer back injuries wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace home inspection lawyer criminal Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers social media after death Illinois defective products attorney employee misclassification Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorney digital evidence probate claims Inverness personal injury attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney icy parking lots Illinois civil litigation lawyer GM ignition switches special needs trust Super Mario commercial leases Mt Prospect Attorney employee rights Buffalo Grove traffic attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers South Barrington real estate lawyer life insurance lawyer pay when paid contract Des Plaines injury law firm Barrington boating accident attorney Illinois employment attorneys living wills probate claims process Palatine drug lawyer Illinois job attorney comparative negligence Schaumburg estate attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney Illinois insurance lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer BAIID Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois rollover accident lawyers speeding pet bites Palatine trusts lawyer DUI defense Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer civil litigation attorney federal regulations for LLCs product liability

Archive