In today’s technological world, nearly everything you do leaves behind a digital footprint. From ATM purchases to cell phone logs and information stored on social media servers, the record of your actions is miles long. That might seem invasive at first, but it plays a vital role in tracking down criminals and proving their crimes in court.
Much like investigators use fingerprints and footprints as evidence in a crime scene, all of the trackable interactions a person has with the online world are used in digital forensics. For attorneys, understanding this information allows them to accurately defend and represent clients in the modern world. That’s why there’s a need for tech savvy attorneys now more than ever before.
Study and Learning
Attorneys that know their way around a computer become the vital aid their clients need. It takes more study and leaning than just knowing the Microsoft Office suite these days, though. A computer crime defense lawyer needs to understand cellular and computer forensics if they want to help prove their client’s innocence.
The same goes for a prosecutor. How could a lawyer prove that a manager sexually harassed an employee via messages, that crime planning took place in chat rooms, or that their victim was stalked and abused via the internet if they don’t understand how these mechanism work and how to use them as evidence in court?
If digital forensics is still a new concept to you, then you’re in luck. There are countless ways to educate yourself and hone your legal capabilities. Working with experts in the field on cases, taking educational courses, and relying on your legal network can help better equip you to tackle cases involving digital forensics.
From Online to the Real World
The term computer crimes offers a broad umbrella. Many imagine hacking or email scams, which do count, but any form of illegal activity online constitutes the definition. Here are some of the hundreds of crimes that can bleed over into the online realm:
· Stalking and harassment
· Domestic abuse
· Intellectual property theft
· Details of an auto accident
· Details of wrongful death, homicide, and murder
· Credit card theft and other types of fraud
· Crimes of a sexual nature (revenge porn, child porn, sexual harassment, etc.)
· Non-disclosure agreement breaches
Those examples alone cover various areas of law, showing why a tech savvy attorney in any practice is so vital in today’s courtroom. A skilled legal professional must ultimately know what types of data exist online, how to extract that data, and how they can use the data extracted as evidence in court.
The Tech Savvy Future
When members of a law firm are equipped with this crucial knowledge, they can better seek justice either by defending their clients or helping them seek justice. Without it, attorneys stand little chance of making their case to a judge or convincing a jury.
As technology continues to advance and the amount of online evidence increases, attorneys will need to become more tech savvy if they want to remain at the top of their game. Firms must adapt to compete, as well. In doing so, the public can continue to get the justice it seeks from these legal professionals.