In our last post, we began speaking about the role social media can play in the criminal process, both with respect to criminal investigation and prosecution. As we mentioned, there can be evidentiary issues with the use of social media evidence in criminal cases, such as authentication. By authentication is meant showing that a piece of evidence is what it claims to be. Because of the possibility of tampering with social media evidence, authentication is particularly important for defendants to explore with their defense attorneys when the issue comes up.
In our previous post, we spoke a bit about the case of a woman arrested for drunken driving after police were alerted to her operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated through an app known as Periscope. In our last post, we posed several questions about the admissibility of the streaming video in a criminal case.
Social media, as far as we can tell, is here to stay, and has penetrated our lives so much that it has become a potentially important factor in both civil and criminal litigation. A recent example of how social media can impact the criminal process is the case of a Florida woman who was recently arrested for drunken driving after officers were alerted to her behavior by a 911 caller.
Last time, we mentioned that the exclusionary rule may be an available remedy in cases where a criminal defendant has been subjected to an illegal search or seizure. The exclusionary rule is not something that a court applies automatically, but rather some that a criminal defendant has to request. This is done by filing a motion to suppress evidence.