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Legally determining if you sent a text message

Text messages have grown in popularity over the years, and they're showing up in many criminal cases. It's important to know that they can be admissible in court. The court will also consider surrounding evidence to determine if you sent the message or not.

For example, if the police claim you sent a message telling a buyer that you had drugs to sell them, you may contest that they can't know you actually sent it. Even if it's your phone, you could claim that someone else used the phone to send the message, that it was never from you and isn't evidence of intent to do anything wrong.

Though the results can be somewhat controversial, courts have decided that surrounding circumstances can be used to prove who sent a message, even if that person denies it.

One example of this is a case where a man sent a message saying he had a specific television, a 64-inch Samsung. He said that there was no proof he'd sent the message when he was accused of stealing that TV.

However, even though his name wasn't connected to the message, the court ruled that it could be submitted as evidence. One reason was that the message referred exactly to the size and type of TV that was stolen. Another reason was that the man was carrying the phone and police found it on him. In addition, someone witnessed the crime and said that the defendant's car had been spotted at the scene, and that the driver was on a mobile phone.

You must know all of your defense options if accused of drug crimes in Kansas, even as the case plays out, so that you make sure only legitimate evidence is allowed in court.

Source: American Bar, "Establishing That Text Messages Are Admissible," Sara E. Costello, accessed May 19, 2016

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