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

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

Archive