How Your Social Media Activity Can Impact Your Criminal Case
We now live in a world where social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram now play a big role in our lives. From posting photos and videos of a recent trip to keeping up with friends and family, there is a large amount of personal information voluntarily shared online.
While sharing your life experiences and updates with the masses can be fun, this social media activity can have a big impact on your life. For example if you are arrested for a criminal offense, your social media activity can be used as evidence against you at trial. According to a survey by the International Association of Police and the Urban Institute, 59 percent of law enforcement agencies use social media in their investigations.
The following are several ways social media can affect your criminal case:
Posts – Many people post on social media with reckless abandon, sometimes sharing their inner thoughts and opinions through status updates and tweets. Emotional posting, whether it is fueled by anger, sadness, or happiness can be detrimental to your case. As we mentioned before, what you say on social media can be used against you in court. For instance, if you tweet that you are heavily intoxicated shortly before being arrested for drunk driving, the police can use the tweet as evidence.
Photos – Since cameras are standard issue on all cell phones, most people take advantage of the feature by capturing as many pictures and videos as possible. Unfortunately, people will even record illegal activity. For example, you are arrested for drug possession and police find photos or videos of you using the drugs before the arrest.
Check-ins – To let everyone on social media know their whereabouts, many people check themselves into the specific locations. At some establishments, a check-in can result in free items or discounts to encourage publicity online. However, investigators can use check-ins to determine if you were at or near the scene of the crime to strengthen the prosecution’s case.
Social media enables prosecutors to understand who you are and learn about your personal history before you ever step foot inside a courtroom. Even though we tend to project an image online there is typically some truth to the image that is being posted and can give people an idea of who you are. Even if your accounts have strict and customized privacy settings, you need to keep in mind that social media companies often cooperate with police investigations, giving them access to private accounts.
If you are considering deleting all your social media accounts, that would also be a huge mistake. Not only does it make you appear more guilty in the eyes of the judge and jury but deleting your social media can be seen as an attempt to destroy evidence, resulting in further legal trouble.
The best thing to do is avoid social media entirely until the conclusion of your case. Ask your friends to stop tagging you in photos, videos, and check-ins to avoid letting authorities constantly know about your location. If you have the urge to discuss your case with loved ones through direct messages (DMs) or vent your frustrations about the criminal investigation for the world to see—please don’t. Only discuss the details of your case with your attorney.
Speak to an Experienced Law Attorney Today
Contact the Law Offices of Keith Anthony at (860) 333-6455. Attorney Keith Anthony can help you navigate thru this process, step by step and is open to assist you. If negotiations fail we can arrange mediation of your disputes. We can help you make agreements that can be filed with the court.