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The Impact Of Technology On The Defence Of A Criminal Case

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The modern era of technology has impacted our lives in many ways.  To some extent, our effective intelligence has increased significantly as we rely more and more on the Internet to provide us with instant answers and insights into the infinite scenarios we face on a daily basis.  Image walking into the liquor store, looking for the perfect bottle of wine to complement your barbeque steak dinner that evening.  Don’t know anything about wine?  Just ‘google’ it and you’ve got the best suggestions from the leading authorities.  Hasn’t your effective intelligence in that situation increased?  You’ve instantly become a wine expert.  Our reliance on technology increases on a daily basis.  More and more, we come to rely on cell phones, iPads, and computers of all sorts, whether we realize it or not.  A byproduct of all this reliance on technology is that records are being created on an ongoing basis, documenting nearly all of our interactions with the world.  Have you ever noticed how ads are popping up on your computer that are related to the content of your e-mails and Internet queries?  Everything is being recorded.  In the context of this new world, how a criminal case is defended (and even prosecuted) has also been affected.  As an example, I recently had a client charged with a domestic assault.  The allegation was made by the mother of his child.  They were no longer living together and there was a lot of acrimony between the two of them.  Most of it related to their disagreement about the raising of the child.  He did not trust her and so he recorded almost every interaction he had with her.  He had text messages, e-mails, and voice messages, cell phone records, etc.  He took it upon himself to turn on the recorder on his cell phone anytime he had a face to face meeting with her.  He did this because she had many times in the past threatened to call the police on him.  In the ‘old days’ none of this stuff existed.  In today’s world, the game has changed.  He steadfastly maintained that she made up the charge of domestic assault in order to gain leverage against him in the family court proceedings.  Normally, this would be nothing more than a theory.  However, in this modern world, he managed to produce an audio recording of her stating that she would be prepared to approach the Crown Attorney and have the charges against him withdrawn if he would stop opposing her in family court.  Needless to say, this was a powerful piece of evidence for the defence.  Ultimately, I managed to get the charge against him withdrawn.

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