Why You Should Be Worried about Your Text Messages
Just about everyone remembers a time before text messages. If you had something to discuss, you merely picked up the phone and talked. Unless someone was recording the conversation, the words exchanged were only heard between the parties. Are technology changes for the better?
In some cases, the advantages of text messaging speak for themselves. You don’t have to worry about anyone overhearing your conversation. With a few keystrokes, you can tell your spouse what time you’ll be home for dinner. Or even give someone a good keyboard lashing.
Like social media posts, text messaging can be hazardous to your case. You might decide to vent about your situation to a friend. In fact, even some innocuous text message can ultimately be used against you. Check out some of the examples below.
Text Messages as Evidence
Text messages are often submitted as evidence of harassment in domestic violence matters. Consider this recent court decision that came before the New Jersey Appellate Division. After six weeks of dating, a woman sent her boyfriend a text message ending their relationship. Upon receipt, the boyfriend texted back to express his feelings and intentions to call her.
Meanwhile, the woman texted back that she did not wish to speak with him. As a result, the man bombarded her with more than twenty-five text messages and thirteen calls. Remarkably, all of this continued even after the woman requested that contact cease. Fast forward and the woman went to the police and made a complaint. She was ultimately granted a restraining order.
The text messages were submitted as evidence. When questioned, the woman agreed that she did not feel threatened. The Appellate Division reversed the restraining order. Although they found that the texts were annoying, they did not constitute a “course of alarming conduct.” The text messages were key evidence.
In the meantime, you should know that text messages can be used in other types of cases as well. For example, the State may subpoena telephone records to document text messages. You might think you’re safe if you’ve deleted text messages from your smartphone. However, what about the person who received your texts? What if a third party gets a hold of your device?
You should be concerned about discussing any type of case via text message. You might downplay your injuries so that you don’t miss out on a sporting event. All it takes is a jealous acquaintance to suggest you are not really hurt. Imagine texting that you can go skiing when you’re claiming a serious back injury. Unfortunately, you might be surprised to learn that the insurance company investigated you and came up with troublesome records.