On Demand Audio

The Art of Admitting or Excluding Digital Evidence in Criminal Cases in Illinois

(117 reviews)

Produced on May 30, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Criminal

Course Description

The rules of evidence are not new, but adapting them to new technologies is a continuing learning experience for attorneys. This program, taught by Linda Watson, a family and criminal law attorney in Peoria, will guide attorneys through the technical requirements for admitting digital information into evidence in Illinois courts, including issues with hearsay, authentication and foundation, the rule of completeness, and addressing the question of whether a piece of evidence is prejudicial or probative.

The program will also assist attorneys in the earliest stages of the evidence-gathering process, discussing what types of electronic information is considered digital evidence, where to look for it, and how to access and preserve it, including in cases where attorneys may need to seek a subpoena to obtain electronic information from platform providers. Finally, the program will discuss important case law updates related to the ways that new technology is pushing the boundaries of criminal law, including the legality of cell phone searches, what types of prosecutable crimes can be committed over social media, and whether Google apps can provide a basis for probable cause for law enforcement.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the Illinois rules of evidence as they pertain to electronic information
  2. Find, obtain, and preserve electronic information for use in evidence
  3. Admit or exclude digital evidence from the courtroom
  4. Discuss the impact of technological advances on criminal law

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Linda J. Watson

Watson Law

Linda is a dynamic attorney who currently focuses her practice in criminal and family law. She helps those who have been wrongfully stopped or detained enforce their constitutional rights. Linda has been successful in suppressing wrongfully obtained evidence and knows how to obtain hard to get evidence. She focuses her family law practice on helping families create a healthy flow between households and quality communication between families. Linda is not afraid to make sure that children are always protected, by obtaining court ordered alcohol and drug treatments of parents and ensuring that parents follow strict appropriate codes of conduct and minimize the effect of a parent’s separation on children. Her solutions are creative and unique, often finding resolutions outside the box, specific to each client’s needs.

Prior to founding and building Watson Law in 2010, Linda was an assistant state’s attorney for nearly seven years, prosecuting everything from murder to traffic. She enjoys teaching continuing legal education both locally and nationally to other lawyers in such areas as digital forensic evidence and children’s hearsay statements admissibility. Ms. Watson has had a number of cases succeed at the Appellate level, having been published several times on new and novel issues including the use of Google Maps as probable cause, second seizure traffic stops, and complex child support issues.

In her spare time, Linda enjoys spending time with her husband of many years, and their teenage son.  She is passionate in pursuing traveling, photography, reading, hiking, and learning a second language.


Elizabeth S.

I felt like this was a very practical guide.

Cacilia M.

She is a fantastic presenter. She was interesting to listen to.

Adam M.

Excellent presentation

Jerry L G.

Thank you.

Karen W.

This one was really healpful.

David R.

gr8 job

Mark Z.

Instructor did a great job in outlining a systematic approach to preparing for digital issues

John P.

Very, very, good program.

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