Can Voice Mails & Text Messages Be Used As Evidence in a Trial?

Updated March 23, 2017

Although people may not think of voicemails and text messages as relevant electronic records, the courts deem them legitimate evidence for the purposes of a trial.


Not only can both sides of a trial use voicemails and text messages as evidence, they are also part of the discovery process. During the discovery process, each side in the trial displays the evidence they plan to use.


Voice-mails could potentially be more damaging than text message communications. Text messages do not indicate the tone of voice or sincerity, but voicemails reveal more of a person's intentions.


In order to obtain voicemail and text message records, prosecutors usually subpoena the cellphone service provider. According to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the government may even be able to subpoena a person's cellphone records without informing the owner of the account.


According to Law Crossing, even people who are not part of a lawsuit may have to relinquish voicemail and text message archives if they are pertinent to the case.


People facing a trial should take caution to protect the integrity of their voicemail and text messages. Destroying evidence germane to a case could lead to criminal charges, such as obstruction of justice.

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About the Author

Russell Huebsch has written freelance articles covering a range of topics from basketball to politics in print and online publications. He graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.