Technology can be among the greatest assets of a person trying to defend themselves against criminal charges, so long as its preserved and used properly. Geo-location data can be pulled off a cell phone and establish that a defendant was not present at a critical time. Internet history can prove a person does or does not have certain interests. Computer log on information can establish alibis as well as the fact that other people may have had access to a certain digital device. Even records maintained by businesses and the government can be very helpful.
The possible beneficial uses of technology to aid in the defense of a criminal case are practically endless. Evidence needs to be preserved so it can be used later. If law enforcement is involved, they often only seize those items they think will aid in their investigation – frequently they leave behind those items that would assist a defendant.
Its important for clients to talk with their lawyers, tell your lawyer every detail, even the ones you don’t think are important. Once a lawyer has the full picture they can determine how to build a defense. Its also important for defendants to tell their criminal defense attorneys about these potential items as soon as possible. Surveillance video is frequently overwritten. Businesses destroy records, both hard copies and digital records, on a regular basis. There is nothing more frustrating both to a client and a lawyer when it becomes clear that exculpatory evidence has been destroyed in the normal course of business.
In a case a couple of years ago outside of Sacramento, the history of a credit card machine saved the day. The details of how many credit cards were swiped during a certain time frame at a certain establishment was key to proving what could and, more importantly, could not happen. Innocuous items, devices most people are around on a daily basis, can be the key to building the best possible defense in a criminal case.