Sharpen Your Sword for Snapchat Legal Battles

Sharpen Your Sword for Snapchat Legal Battles
March 30, 2017 Pearl Insurance

Sharpen Your Sword for Snapchat Legal Battles

Don’t ignore the power of Snapchat evidence.

In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu wrote, “If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” From case to case, technology changes alliances. Emails, Internet history, and text messages reinforce one argument and destroy the next.

That’s why lawyers now treat the Snapchat app as a serious threat on the legal battlefield. This app leaves digital trails of evidence, because it allows users to record 10-second clips and take pictures with mobile devices.

Read on and familiarize yourself with the legal implications of Snapchat, because this app could act as your friend or your foe.

Case 1: A Win for Snapchat in Crash Lawsuit Tied to Speed Filter

Summary:

In Georgia, a teenager named Christal McGee drove down the interstate while allegedly using Snapchat’s “speed filter.” McGee’s vehicle collided with the car of Wentworth Maynard, who claimed to suffer a brain injury due to the accident.

Maynard sued Snapchat and McGee. The lead lawyer in the case claimed McGee was driving 107 MPH at the time of the accident, while McGee and the passengers in her car alleged Mr. Maynard had illegally merged into their lane.

Result:

Citing the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the judge in the case dismissed the claim against Snapchat.

Case 2: Prosecutors Charge Former Playboy Playmate in Gym ‘Body-Shaming’ Photo Case

Summary:

Dani Mathers, a former Playboy model, allegedly used Snapchat to photograph a woman showering at a Los Angeles gym. The caption on the picture in question read, “If you can’t un-see this, I can’t either.” The image was posted publicly on Snapchat from Mathers’ account.

Prosecutors brought an invasion of privacy charge against Mathers, who could face jail time. Mathers pled not guilty.

Result:

This case is ongoing.

Case 3: Jeannette Teen Found Guilty of Third-Degree Murder

Summary:

Maxwell Morton, a teenager from Jeanette, Pennsylvania, confessed to fatally shooting his friend Ryan Mangan. After the shooting occurred, Morton posed with Mangan’s body and took a selfie using Snapchat.

Morton sent the selfie to a friend in Wisconsin.

Result:

In February 2017, jurors found Morton guilty of third-degree murder. Morton faces up to 40 years in prison.

Conclusion

Snapchat won’t go away any time soon, because an estimated 70.4 million Americans will use the app in 2017. If Snapchat evidence enters your cases, don’t dismiss it. You don’t want to lose a legal battle by underestimating this deceptively strong combatant.

This article is for informational purposes only.

CITATIONS

“A win for Snapchat in crash lawsuit tied to speed filter.” CBS News. 23 Jan 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Cholodofsky, Rich. “‘Selfie’ trial: Jeannette teen found guilty of third-degree murder.” Trib Live. 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Mosendz, Polly. “Adored by Teens, Snapchat Is Getting Popular With Their Parents.” Bloomberg News. 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Rocha, Veronica, and Winton, Richard. “Prosecutors charge former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers in gym ‘body-shaming’ photo case.” Los Angeles Times. 4 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

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