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Text Messages as Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases


New York takes the crime of domestic violence very seriously. If you are facing accusations of domestic violence in New York, you should know that you risk facing harsh penalties if convicted. Depending on the severity of the charges, you could spend many years in jail and pay substantial fines if convicted of domestic violence. If you are facing domestic violence charges in New York, it is crucial that you retain a skilled defense attorney. A qualified attorney can help you with your defense.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, the prosecution can use several types of evidence against you. There are also several types of evidence your defense attorney can use to defend you. Text messages are a type of evidence that the prosecution can use against you and that your defense attorney can also use to defend you. Below, we look at how text messages can be used as evidence in domestic violence cases to prove or disprove charges.

Text Messages as Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases

Often, people assume that text messages are private, but that is not the case. As long as texts are obtained legally, they are fair game. When it comes to the prosecution side, text messages can be used to show motive, intent to commit an offense, or state of mind. For example, the prosecution may show the court a text message exchange where, as evidence, you threatened your accuser days before the alleged attack happened. Also, if the text messages are especially intimidating, they themselves could be considered domestic violence if your accuser was convinced you would do what you threatened to do.

When it comes to using text messages to defend yourself, you can use texts to show that the accuser had a motive to make false allegations of domestic violence. For instance, you can introduce a text message exchange that shows the accuser was unfaithful or conspired to frame you. Such an exchange can show the accuser had one or more motives to falsely accuse you of domestic violence.

Context Can Make a Big Difference

One text message by itself does not provide the context needed to change its meaning. This can cause a text to be misunderstood. A text could be construed as harassing when in fact, it was not sent with the intention to cause any harm. A skilled defense attorney can help you in this area. An attorney can help add context to the situation if the prosecution tries to use a single text against you. For example, your attorney can help show that what appears as a harassing text was just part of a non-threatening conversation.

In other cases, text messages may be fabricated. A qualified criminal defense attorney can determine if the text messages the prosecution seeks to use against you are legitimate or fabricated. If text messages are fabricated, your attorney will object to them being admitted in court. Additionally, your attorney can ensure the evidence you plan to introduce is authenticated so the court accepts and considers it.

Contact an NYC Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are facing domestic violence charges, our skilled and dedicated NYC domestic violence attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can help with your defense. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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