By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Smart phones have revolutionized trial practice in the 21st Century.
How? Because everyone old enough to be charged with a crime carries around a box of evidence with them. The smart phone can tell who you talk to, what messages you send to others, where you’ve been, what you’ve bought, and scariest of all — when you combine all these things — they tell others what you’re thinking.
And that’s not just you carrying around this box of evidence — it’s everyone. I saw a commercial the other day which suggested we have more information about us in our phone than in our entire house!
So how do we make smart phones work for the defense? It helps us get to the truth — which is virtually never as one-sided as the prosecution believes. We can establish alibis, witness bias and witness motive — and that’s just the beginning.
Compulsory Process under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows us to subpoena records and smart phone data either directly from an adverse witness or from third-party providers such as Facebook, Instagram, or SnapChat.
In complicated trials and cases — it always makes sense to make smart phone technology one of the core foundations of an investigation. We might know we know certain facts in a particular case — and smart or cell phone technology help us turn those facts into concrete instead of risking a swearing match.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas.