Text Messages and Social Media in Sexual Assault Cases
It is important to understand that both social media posts and text messages can be used as evidence in cases involving sexual assault.
Many sexual assault cases lack documentary evidence and depend wholly on verbal statements made by the relevant parties. A sexual assault case may be associated with electronic communications that can help defendants protect their legal rights.
The following types of communication are relevant to sexual assault cases:
- Telephone calls
- Social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms
- Social media videos posted on other social media platforms
- E-mails sent between parties that relate to the facts of the case
- WhatsApp messages
- Text messages
Social media posts are public information. Parties may also have engaged in private communications regarding their alleged activities. The Crown must obtain these private communications through the legal process and have them admitted to court.
Using Text Messages and Social Media as Defence
If you are facing charges of sexual assault, you may want to know if you can use social media posts and text messages to strengthen your defence. All text messages and social media posts can be used to construct part of your case strategy. Photographs, online communications, and videos may benefit your arguments and help you discredit the complainant’s statements.
A series of text messages may explicitly state that you and the complainant engaged in consensual sexual activity. Social media posts may also suggest that the complainant is not presenting a full picture of the facts related to their allegations.
You need to make sure that you understand which social media posts were posted on which dates. Reviewing these social media posts and text messages with your criminal defence lawyer can help you determine how to present this evidence to the court.
The complainant may also appear unreliable or untrustworthy in the context of the social media posts and text messages presented by your criminal defence lawyer. Telephone records may also be used to present facts regarding how the complainant may have wanted to fabricate facts regarding a sexual assault that did not in fact occur.
The complainant may have also wanted to use the legal system to cause you stress, anxiety, and emotional pain. Social media posts and text messages can be used to portray the complainant as a manipulative and vindictive person who never suffered any type of sexual assault.
Can I Get Convicted from Text Messages?
The best thing to do if you are dealing with charges regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence is to not post anything on social media. Also, it is best to refrain from sending text messages related to your criminal case. You may want to send angry text messages to individuals involved in your case, but it is best to think about how any text message or social media post could potentially be used against you in a sexual assault or sexual harassment case.
It is best to analyze any text messages you sent in the past in the context of the charges presented against you. A skilled criminal defence lawyer can help you focus on how to use the text messages you posted to strengthen your case.
Do not believe that your case is over if you posted social media posts before you retained a criminal defence lawyer. All evidence must be considered in a larger context, and a criminal defence lawyer can help present potentially damaging evidence in a more positive light.
Vilkhov Law fights for the legal rights of criminal defendants in Toronto and the surrounding area. We provide our clients with excellent legal representation, and we do everything in our power to fight for you.
Contact Vilkhov Law today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. If you are accused of a sexual assault offence in Canada, we are here for you to make sure you have an experienced defence lawyer by your side.