Using text messages as evidence in court

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 in Law, Text messages

Using text messages as evidence in court

Texting is a common and widely used method of communication. People text each other about most various topics, and it is natural for this question to arise: can text messages be used as evidence in court?

It is estimated that users all over the world send 350 billion texts each month. With such a large number of text messages, some of them surely get to be used as evidence in court. It is not uncommon that drug dealers exchange text messages, which can serve as a valuable material in court. Also, an insight into text messages of a murder victim can sometimes lead to the murderer.

There are plenty more examples of text messages serving as evidence in court, in both civil and criminal cases. However, there are certain requirements for the text messages to be considered valid and purposeful as evidence material.

First of all, in order to accuse someone of writing and sending particular written material, we need to prove that this person actually did it. Imagine the world several decades ago, when mobile phones and text messages still did not exist. A written piece of evidence could be found on a piece of paper with the name of the accused written below. However, this does not prove that this person actually wrote the text. We would need to hire a handwriting expert to prove that it was this person who wrote the text. The same goes for text messages, because we cannot be sure that only the owner uses the cell phone. In this case, we cannot hire a handwriting expert, but there are other ways to identify the person who composed and sent the texts. We can rely on the statements of the accused and the witnesses to put the pieces of the case together. There are also some software solutions for deciphering the messages. Lastly, we can conclude a lot from the content, the context and the style of messages.

Next, when presenting text messages as evidence in court, it is not enough to simply show the texts directly from the cell phone of the accused. They need to be properly saved and displayed in court. You should make screenshots of all the messages in conversation, together with the time and date when they were exchanged. You can present them as digital files, or you can print the out and submit them in the paper form.

A common problem with text messages is that they often constitute hearsay statements. Such statements are of no value in court and they can hardly be used as evidence. There is a key question to ask in this case – what exactly it is that you want to prove with the text messages? If the content of the messages is clearly sufficient to prove and support your statements, you can use them as the evidence. If not, it is better to leave them out of the case and focus on other pieces of evidence.

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Legal advantages and disadvantages of domestic partnership and marriage

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Domestic Partnership, Law, Marriage

Legal advantages and disadvantages of domestic partnership and marriage

Both domestic partnership and marriage are ways of formalizing a relationship with the one you love. While some couples consider marriage to be important for their relationship, the others are not able or willing to get married for a variety of reasons. Still, both marriage and domestic partnership have their benefits and drawbacks, and they both offer certain forms of legal protection for the couple.

Domestic partnership

Domestic partnership is the term most people connect with same-sex relationships, since same-sex marriages are still not allowed in most parts of the world. However, many heterosexual couples also opt for this type of relationship formalization. The legislation concerning formalization of such relationships differs depending on the part of the world. In some countries it is allowed to cohabitating couples of all ages, while in the others it only includes cohabitating couples older than certain age. Registering a civil partnership requires the couple to cohabitate, and they are generally required to sign a state or city registry.

 The benefits also vary from one country to another. They generally include the right of one partner to carry health, dental and life insurance of the other and the right to take medical leave to take care of the partner. They also often include other benefits such as parental rights, death benefits and certain tax benefits.

  While domestic partnerships are recognized and respected by the state or the country where the couple is registered, it may not be the case in other countries or on federal level. This means that domestic partners are required to file separate federal tax returns. Health insurance acquired through domestic partner is taxable, unlike that acquired through a partner in marriage. What’s more, every transfer of funds, assets and inheritance between domestic partners is considered taxable as well.

 

Marriage

Even though not all couples are interested in getting married, it is undoubtedly true that formalizing your relationship this way can have certain legal benefits. First of all, marriage is legally recognized on federal level and in all foreign countries, unlike domestic partnership. Then, marriage also includes the rights to inherit, to sponsor a spouse for immigration and to change the last name. Social Security, veteran and pension benefits can also be received through the legal spouse. There are also certain tax benefits when filing tax returns as a married couple, which is not the case when doing so as domestic partners.

While marriage has quite a number of benefits over domestic partnership, there are some drawbacks of marriage too. The most obvious drawback is notable in case a couple reaches divorce. In this case, it is much easier to separate from a domestic partner than a spouse. Marriage involves a lot more legal concerns than domestic partnership, especially when it comes to a divorce.

Although they both have benefits and drawbacks, domestic partnership and marriage have something in common. Each of them is a way not only to gain some legal benefits, but also strengthen the bonds between the partners.

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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR ATTORNEY

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Attorney, Law

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR ATTORNEY

Hiring a good lawyer is a crucial factor in winning a case and being satisfied with the verdict, but many people approach this step in a relaxed manner without performing the necessary research. Not all attorneys are the same, and not all of them will suit your needs in the way you want them to, so it is imperative that the search for the solicitor is performed in a serious and professional manner. Attorneys are the ones who are providing clients with the legal aid and assistance, which means that their role in a case is extremely important.

First of all, good lawyers are usually specialists in a particular area, and this fact sometimes limits the number of your potential attorneys. However, this improves quality, simply because lawyers who are specialized in a single area of law will be more capable of handling the case that is based in that same area. Experience and knowledge that come from working in a certain field are a valuable asset, and clients should always try to obtain the services of an attorney who has the necessary expertise. Many areas of law require specific sets of skills, and not the same capabilities are needed in divorce law or real estate law, for instance.

Obtaining the information about your possible solicitors can be done in various ways, but experts usually recommend that you use the references from your friends, colleagues or family as the best guide to your solution. Word of mouth is still one of the best advertising methods in any line of business, and if your friends recommend a certain attorney – then you can have more confidence that the job will be done in a professional manner. Searching the Web or going trough yellow pages may be a good option is certain cases, but this way of finding a lawyer mostly relies upon and luck and can be time-consuming.

After you collect some names, the process of narrowing down your list can start. Checking the profiles and biographies of candidates will tell you a lot about the qualities of a certain lawyer. Once you narrow the list to a few names, a consultation or a meeting in person is an obligatory step, and how can you trust the person with your private information if you haven’t had a personal contact? During the consultation, always try to estimate if the attorney is willing to understand your needs, if he or she is honest and caring, and if you can feel safe and secure with the attorney handling your case. If you receive a professional treatment during this session, the chances are that the solicitor will be a good option and that you will be satisfied with the results of the verdict.

It can be hard to find good legal aid without doing your homework and without performing a small search for a good lawyer, but this activity is essential if you have a strong desire to win your case or to solve some legal conundrum in a satisfying manner.

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