How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

Many of us use social media to stay in touch with friends and family. In most cases, you may not even think twice about what you are posting. However, if you are facing criminal charges, your social media posts can have a big impact on your case. It's important to be aware of this and to be cautious about what you share if you are involved in a criminal case.

Are Social Media Posts Admissible As Evidence?

In short, yes, social media posts you make can be used against you in a court of law. The prosecution will need to ensure they can prove the authenticity of your posts as well as provide context. There are specific procedures for capturing digital evidence and failure to follow these can invalidate the evidence. That being said, as a defendant, you should assume that the prosecution can and will be able to capture your posts in accordance with these rules.

Can You Delete Posts Before a Criminal Case?

If you have been charged with a crime and are now realizing that some of your posts could be incriminating, you may be tempted to delete them. However, you should not do this. Deleting the posts could be considered destruction of evidence. Additionally, it’s likely that copies of the posts still exist. You should instead talk to your attorney about the best course of action moving forward.

Instead of deleting posts after the fact, the best thing you can do is think before you post something. Even if you are never involved in a criminal case, this is good practice for avoiding other issues. If you are ever facing criminal charges, be sure to take a cautious approach to any new posts and to consult with your lawyer.

Negative Effects of Social Media in a Criminal Case

The prosecution can use your social media posts against you in a variety of ways.

Some of these include:

Location Tracking

If you check in at a certain location on social media, this provides a timeline for when you were at the location and may raise red flags in your case depending on the circumstances. Some apps may even track and post your location without you realizing it.

Negative Posts About Others

Negative posts about others who are involved in your case could be used as evidence against you. This can be especially relevant in domestic violence or assault cases. Even if you are frustrated with allegations against you, do not vent these frustrations on social media.

Associations with Known Criminals

Your posts may connect you with known criminals or suspected accomplices. Although a simple association isn't proof of guilt, it could be used as evidence against you depending on the facts of the case.

General Character

The prosecution may use your social media to paint a general picture of your character. If you have posts that show you drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or otherwise could depict you in a negative light, these could be evidence in court.

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