In large part, criminal defense cases have remained unchanged since America was founded. Technological developments merely brought television reporting into the courtroom and changed the format of recording trials, from steno to taping trials (reel-to-reel courtroom recordings). However, the way cases were charged and defended remained unchanged.
In 1986, advanced science made a big appearance in the criminal scene when DNA was used in England in a criminal prosecution. In the ensuing decades, DNA is reversing convictions from the 1960s and 1970s; and DNA results now are a routine part of criminal defense. Yet, not much else changed--until now: someone or -thing is “watching” or “following” you when you are on land in the United States. You are not paranoid. This is a fact.
What may this mean for your case? Well, the digital footprint you leave may tell the story. Here are but two examples of why you may want to consider a defense counsel who understands technology: First, the Indiana Supreme Court just ruled no citizen has a constitutional expectation of privacy in their digital location when operating a cell phone; so police may obtain your location from cell service provider and, if they chose, track private citizens. Zanders v. Indiana, 15S01-1611-CR-571. Secondly, in Connecticut, a husband, who said his wife killed by an intruder before a certain time, was charged with murder when the victim’s Fitbit data showed she was moving an hour later.
Now there is growing evidence that even DNA, which began revolutionizing criminal cases, may be transferred from items and incorrectly incriminate the wrong person. Thus, someone is watching you or you are leaving some trace behind of your movements; this may be the key to your criminal defense. The next challenges will to the science and technology itself as nothing is infallible; these companions may be the essence of your defense. Know it.
This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handles criminal defense cases throughout the State. This blog is written as general information and is not intended to be a solicitation for legal services or legal advice. It is an advertisement.