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What Is The Spoliation Of Evidence?

When you’re involved in a civil case, evidence may need to be presented for the court to come to a conclusion. This is true whether it’s a family law case, a business case or something else entirely. Certain steps are supposed to be taken, and all parties are expected to act within the limits of this process.

However, those who think the evidence may be incriminating can be tempted to destroy or hide that evidence. This is known as the spoliation of evidence.

It can certainly take many different forms. But it essentially just means that the court expects people to preserve the evidence they have so that it can be presented properly. When they hinder that process in any way, perhaps by claiming they no longer have it or by destroying any means to get it, then this violates the legal system and throws the results of the case into question.

This applies to electronic evidence

This doesn’t just mean destroying physical evidence. There have been cases when people have been accused of this after deleting email messages, for example. If investigators were supposed to have time to read those messages, but they were deleted out of an account before this was possible, it may have been done to hide incriminating evidence from the court.

This can also apply to deleting files from a computer, deleting text messages from a phone or even deleting messages from a social media account.

If you’re worried that something like this has happened, especially with electronic evidence, it may not be lost forever. Make sure that you know about all of the legal options at your disposal.

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