Can Social Media Hurt Your Criminal Case?
When you are up against criminal charges, it can feel like everything is working against you. All of this means that you might be in a position where you are questioning everything you do and have done.
For example, you might wonder if your social media presence could have an active role in harming your criminal court case. If so, here's what you need to know.
Your Social Media Posts Can Be Shared
One thing you need to know is that your posts can be shared — even if you think they are completely private. People can take screenshots of your posts and share them. This can be especially damaging if you are facing a criminal court case that is highly publicized or covered in the media.
As a result, an attorney might suggest that you not share anything on social media. They may also advise deleting accounts to prevent exposure.
Investigators Can Gather Information About You
Even if you have not yet been arrested but have been under a microscope during an investigation, your social media profiles could be used to gather information about you.
For example, an investigator might use your public friends list as a way to gather information about who to contact regarding the case.
Likewise, investigators can gather information about your whereabouts. This could place you at the scene of a crime, even if you are completely unrelated to the incident.
Investigators Can Use Your Information as Evidence
You also need to know how investigators can use your social media information as part of a case's investigation. Many people do not realize how public their accounts can be.
For example, investigators might go back to your posts from specific dates involved in the case. They may use your posts to track down exactly where you were. They can also use your photos to create theories about things like your emotional state.
You Could Be Considered Guilty by Association
In some cases, you may not be the target of the criminal investigation. Investigators might associate you with somebody who is targeted in an investigation based on photos and other social media posts in which another party is tagged.
Consult With a Criminal Law Attorney
A criminal law attorney can help you determine if you should delete posts or stay off social media. You have a lot of questions, and criminal law attorneys can help you solve any problems that may arise as you await your trial. Contact a law firm like Daniels Long & Pinsel to learn more.