What Is Circumstantial Evidence?

measure-3792026_1920.jpg

It is a common misconception that circumstantial evidence can not be used against you. This is simply not the case. Courts find that circumstantial evidence is a good as eye witness testimony. Often, the only evidence in a case is circumstantial. A favorite example is footprints in the snow. You wake one morning and look outside your window. There are footprints outside your room. You never heard anyone. You never saw anyone. The circumstance of the footprints tell you without a doubt, however, someone was there.

The same is true with other non eye witness testimony, such as digital forensics. Consider a divorce case in which the wife is accused of an affair. The spouses share a laptop. The husband is reviewing his instant social media account and notices some provocative messages addressed to his wife. He snoops a little and finds messages from her to another man. He did not see her send the message. He does know she goes by sweetiepi online. The messages are between sweetiepi and Don Wan. They describe the night of passion they shared last Thursday night. His wife did not come home Thursday night because she was at "work out of town". Now, there is no direct evidence that an affair has occurred. All available information is circumstantial evidence.

With Black Swan Digital Forensics, the digital trail can be traced, eliciting every piece of available information available on devices owned by the husband, as well on social media sites. There is no need to hire someone to follow and document her every move. They have already been stored forever in the digital media at hand. Imagine the speedy resolution to the divorce proceedings when a fully authenticated, dated and digitally enhanced photograph wife thought was forever deleted appears in the discovery session at her lawyer's office.

Circumstantial evidence is not limited to divorce cases. IT is applicable in all civil and criminal trials. Common sense tells us when there are foot prints in the snow someone was outside your window. Let Black Swan provide you with a clearer picture of who that someone just might be.

Matt Plank