Could An App Lead to a Domestic Violence Charge?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

In March 2024, George Mason University received nearly $5 million to develop an advanced bruise detection app that could help medics identify bruising patterns in domestic violence victims. As this technology evolves, could the app-based system make it easier to prove domestic violence allegations – and how will this impact DV cases going forward? The Lento Law Firm Team explores these issues below.   

If you need representation for a domestic violence matter, the Lento Law Firm Family Law Team can help. Whatever the nature of the incident, we're on your side. Tell us about your case online or call 888.535.3686 to schedule a meeting.  

An AI “Bruise Detection System”  

The proposed app is part of GMU's ongoing research into bruise and injury detection systems to protect domestic violence victims. It relies on light technology, which is allegedly five times more effective at detecting bruising across all skin tones than regular white light. Not only could this improve racial equality in healthcare, but it could encourage more victims to step forward. It may also expedite the examination process in healthcare settings, which would be less traumatic for the victims involved.  

Could the App Lead to More DV Charges? 

It's possible. Right now, domestic violence cases are often “he said, she said” scenarios with no eyewitnesses, and they can be difficult to prove. Criminal domestic violence charges must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and civil cases must be proven based on the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard. In both cases, having tangible medical evidence to support the victim's claims could strengthen their case.   

Let's consider a hypothetical example. Say one spouse accuses their partner of domestic violence. The doctor finds no outward signs of injury until they use the app, which detects subtle bruising. If these bruises are in keeping with the individual's description of the alleged incident, then they could be considered significant. However, there's also the chance that they are entirely unrelated – especially if the accusations don't suggest contact that could reasonably cause such bruising.  

Ultimately, the onus will still be on the prosecution – or the plaintiff, in civil cases – to prove domestic violence occurred as alleged. But the app could certainly lead to a greater number of domestic violence charges and, potentially, a higher number of criminal convictions or civil judgments.  

The Future of AI Technology and Domestic Violence Proceedings  

As AI technology evolves, it will, most likely, play a greater role in legal proceedings, including evidence-gathering. But, as with all evidence, it's not infallible. It must be scrutinized, cross-examined, and considered alongside other factors. It will be critical to monitor how such evidence is handled by the courts, should the app be completed and used as intended.  

If you're facing domestic violence charges, the Lento Law Firm can help. Call 888.535.3686 now or talk to us online to discuss representation.   

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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