Computer and mobile technology that enables everyday people to manipulate digital files has proven problematic in various court cases. When a party to a lawsuit or criminal complaint provides digital files as evidence, that evidence often does not undergo authentication and could lead to bad information deciding a case. Civil and criminal defense attorneys must ensure their clients do not fall prey to doctored digital evidence.
Deepfake video evidence could harm a criminal defense
Criminal defense cases in particular could render truly diabolical outcomes based on deepfake evidence. Deepfake evidence is doctored digital evidence that claims to prove a case but only causes potential harm to civil and criminal cases. A deepfake video, in particular, is one in which machine-learning alters an original image or video.
Many known examples of deepfake evidence winding up in civil and criminal cases affirm the extent of the problem. With audio and video digital editing tools available to nearly anyone for either free or a nominal price, almost anyone could doctor a digital file and present it as false evidence to prove a case.
Several cases in recent years hinged on evidence eventually found to be doctored or suspected deepfakes. One was a digital image from a MySpace account that claimed to show gang affiliation for a defendant in a 2010 criminal law case. California’s Second District Court of Appeals said prosecutors should not have used the image as evidence. A more recent appeals court ruling in Colorado allowed a criminal law case to proceed with an audio recording that was not authenticated.
Arizona cases might hinge on corrupted digital evidence
The court rulings show the wide ranging legal opinions regarding the credibility of digital evidence. An authentication process is absolutely critical whenever used as evidence in a court case. If you are a defendant in a criminal law case, authentication can stop doctored evidence from getting used against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help to ensure any evidence is authenticated or removed.