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Navigating Social Media Evidence in Colorado Courts for Domestic Violence Cases

In the age of technology, digital evidence is becoming more and more common in Colorado courts. This includes the use of digital evidence in domestic violence cases, which can make them more complex and provide more opportunities for misinformation. As helpful as digital evidence can be in some situations, it also poses a variety of risks for defendants.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, you may be worried about how social media evidence will impact your case. You should hire an experienced domestic violence attorney in Colorado Springs who can help you navigate the complexities involved in domestic violence cases and understand how social media evidence can impact these charges, if that evidence can be admitted in court, or if your attorney can object to and keep that evidence out of court.

Types of Evidence From Social Media

In the age of technology, it is only natural that different forms of online communication would start to infiltrate the legal system, impacting the repercussions of certain charges. Social media is an excellent example of this, as it is becoming a more common form of evidence in Colorado cases. 

Social media evidence can pose a significant risk to your domestic violence case, which is why you need to hire a reputable domestic violence lawyer in Colorado Springs to represent you. They can not only help you navigate the addition of online evidence, but they can also help to show the court a person’s good character. In some situations, your attorney may also be able to use social media evidence in to benefit the accused, or exclude evidence that is damaging to a persons reputation.

Credibility and Character

There are two things that will have a massive impact on your domestic violence case, which is credibility and character assessment. Your character will be scrutinized in domestic violence cases as this can have a huge impact on how the evidence is interpreted by the judge and jury. Your social media presence can help provide proof of credibility and character for the better or possibly excluded if it is damaging, and proper procedures were not followed in order to be able to admit the evidence.

Your social media can be used to provide evidence of inconsistencies or contradictions in your statements or the evidence you have provided. However, it can also be used to provide evidence of various defenses a defendant may have, or mitigating evidence.  Social media also provides evidence regarding your lifestyle and normal behaviors, which can help to establish your good character. 

Your attorney will encourage you to stay off social media throughout the legal proceedings for your case, as anything you say or post online could easily be used in court. Keep in mind that deleting things like social media posts isn’t always a good strategy, as many things can be recovered.

Communication

One of the most common ways that social media is used for domestic violence cases is to prove communication. For instance, an individual may have tried to cut ties with a specific person, but that specific person continues to contact them via social media. Even when a protection order has been issued against a defendant to discontinue communication, it can be shown that the person is still trying to communicate through online platforms.

Evidence of communication can prove a person’s character and be an issue for any claims of innocence.

However, an experienced attorney will be able to provide various defenses.  For example, can the prosecution prove that it was sent by a specific person/  In some situations, an alleged victim may not turn over the entire social media conversation.  For example, it is not uncommon for an alleged victim to delete statements they don’t want others to see before turning over to law enforcement.  These records could be objected to if the conversation is not an accurate depiction of the entire conversation.  

Harassment and Threats

Because social media platforms are often used for communication purposes, they also become helpful when documenting harassment and threats. If someone is being threatened or harassed across online platforms, this communication can often be saved and used in court to support domestic violence accusations.

Concerns Related to Social Media Evidence

As useful as social media is, it introduces privacy concerns since anything online can be accessed and used for evidence. Even more private forms of social media, such as direct messages, can be subpoenaed and used against a person that is charged.

Because of these concerns, a domestic violence attorney in Colorado Springs will most likely recommend that the defendant cut off all communication with the alleged victim and witnesses online. It often is a good idea to stay off of social media entirely during legal proceedings, as anything that is posted could be taken out of context.

Other Types of Technology Used For Evidence

Social media evidence is still relatively new in Colorado courts, and it isn’t the only type of online evidence that can be used against you. Technology is very prevalent and can act as a double-edged sword when a person is trying to prove their innocence. Here are some other types of technology that could be used as evidence against a person charged with a crime:

  • Email: One of the oldest forms of online communication is email, which is a form of technology that can be used as evidence in domestic violence cases. Emails are never completely deleted and can be accessed and used to prove poor threats, good and bad character, lack of credibility, or harassment.  Likewise, emails may serve to help the person charged with various defenses and mitigating information.
  • Surveillance and tracking: There are many surveillance and tracking options online that individuals and law enforcement can use. These things can provide evidence of stalking, harassment, violations of no-contact orders, and unauthorized access to digital accounts.  However, tracking devices are not necessarily a crime just because a person has done so.
  • Text messages and phone calls: Text messages are much like emails as they can be saved and used in court against a person charged with a crime, whcih is common in domestic violence cases. Phone calls can be used in much the same way as a history of phone calls and recorded phone calls can provide evidence against the accused.   Likewise, text messages and phone calls can be used to help defend the person charged with a crime.

If someone has any kind of protective order against someone, online evidence can prove that the restrictions for those orders were not upheld. For instance, a defendant may not be allowed to contact an alleged victim in person or online. All of these forms of evidence could come up in court and result in more extensive repercussions for these charges.

Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of Clifton Black

If you are trying to defend yourself against domestic violence charges in Colorado, or any crime, you may not know how to navigate the addition of social media evidence. This evidence can easily be taken out of context, making the legal process more difficult to navigate. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to view this evidence and determine how damaging it may be, if it can be used to defend the person charged if it can be admitted as evidence, or if it is immaterial.  Because of this, you must understand the type of social media evidence that could come up in court, the rules of evidence, and how to protect yourself from it.

At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, our domestic violence lawyers in Colorado Springs can help you navigate the complexities of social media evidence in domestic violence cases. For the best domestic violence defense, contact us today at 719-328-1616 for a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

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