Prevalence of ‘Deepfakes’ Causes Courts to Question Validity of Evidence


Evidence can be extremely influential when it comes to deciding the outcome of a criminal case. But while this influence is extremely advantageous when you’re trying to prove something, it can also be extremely detrimental when it paints you in a bad light – especially when it’s fake. 

Unfortunately for many Virginia defendants, false recordings that are alleged to be of them are being used in court in order to prove their guilt. However, some of these recordings, commonly referred to as “deepfakes,” are synthetic, created by artificial intelligence. The inclusion of this fake evidence runs the risk of wrongly convicting the defendant of a crime that he or she did not commit. Not only have these deepfakes become increasingly prevalent, but their technology has also continued to rapidly advance.  

Difficult to Detect

Although those who have more advanced equipment can make deepfakes that are even harder to detect and disprove, all it really takes is a laptop. Now essentially anyone with a laptop can make fake evidence simply by using someone’s real image and voice. 

Some of these deepfakes are so good that even the prosecution may not be able to decipher the real ones from these fakes, leading them in many cases to try introducing them into evidence at trial. And because of their realistic form, it can be very tough for defense attorneys to prove that the evidence is false and should be kept out of court. 

As if that didn’t make things difficult enough, now defense attorneys are also finding it difficult to introduce genuine evidence into trial since the courts are now aware of these deepfake recordings. Sometimes courts require that evidence be authenticated before being introduced. Objections of the prosecution can be difficult to overcome. All in all these deepfakes continue to cause a lack of confidence in the justice system.

Reliable or Manipulated?

Since these deepfakes and their evolving technology are relatively new, there hasn’t been a whole lot of judicial training to be able to identify evidence that is reliable versus that which has been manipulated. 

A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to inspect each and every piece of evidence that the prosecution seeks to admit. Any of this evidence may be subject to an evidentiary hearing, and the defense attorney may do his or her best to convince the judge that the evidence should be suppressed. 

Consult with a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal conviction can have a severe and long-lasting impact on your life. From finding a place to live to securing a job position, it can prove difficult with such a conviction on your record. It can also impact your right to drive, and subsequently your ability to get to and from work and make money. That’s why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. He or she will fight for your rights and will work hard to ensure that your trial is fair.

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work with our clients to fight for what it is that they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Criminal Law