Personal Injury Lawyer
Social media is now such an ingrained part of everyday life that many people don’t realize the implications of their behavior on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms when they are facing criminal charges. Your emotions are usually running high after you’ve been arrested, and it’s all too easy to get swept up in your anger, frustration and fear. However, sharing information on your arrest on social media can complicate your case very quickly, and it’s generally a bad idea.
If you are facing criminal charges, here’s how your social media use could impact your case.
You could offer new evidence that’s used against you later
Don’t share any information at all about the charges or your arrest. This includes the names of anyone else involved, such as witnesses, the officers, victims or other people charged besides you. If you offer details on social media that you did not share with police, that new information can be used by the prosecution in your case just as if you’d given it to police in the first place. Assume everyone can see your posts at any time, including investigators who are looking to build a case against you.
You may raise guilt “red flags”
If you go through your social media and delete old posts to conceal anything or make yourself “look better,” you may be asking for trouble. Anything you delete could still be unearthed later, and it can be taken as proof of guilt or a red flag in the investigation. If you have any concerns about old posts on social media, speak to a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO about what to do next. They will review your posts and advise you on your best course of action.
You could share information with the prosecution
Don’t accept any new friends or follower requests on social media following an arrest. Sometimes, investigators create fake accounts in order to access a person’s social media when it’s set to private. If you accept these types of requests, the investigators will gain access to your social media accounts and everything on them.
Go on a social media blackout
Even if your accounts are all private, it’s still possible someone could access them. Your best bet is to avoid using social medial entirely until your case is over. This will eliminate the chances of you making an offhand comment on one of your accounts that ends up damaging your case later.
If you feel you need to vent about the case or legal proceedings, do so offline and only with trusted family members, friends and your attorney. Never do so in writing–such as in a text, on a social media post or in an email–where there is written documentation of what you said that could be brought up in court.
Social media is being increasingly used by law enforcement in criminal cases. By being aware of its potential impact on your case, you can avoid some unpleasant consequences of using it after you’ve been charged with a crime.
If you are facing criminal charges, it’s important you move quickly to defend yourself, and to understand how your use of social media may help or hurt your case. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Denver, CO about your case today.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and social media.