If you’re like most Americans, you spend a significant fraction of your time online and you spend a large part of your online hours engaging on social media. However, if you’re facing criminal charges, you’re going to want to log off these platforms for a while.
Because social media platforms are public, law enforcement officers, investigators and prosecutors tend to scroll them diligently in search of evidence to use against those who have been charged with crimes. Regardless of how innocent your online activity may be, it can be misconstrued or taken out of context and ultimately compromise the strength of your defense strategy.
Why is social media activity so valuable to prosecutors?
Anything posted on social media can be used as evidence in court. This includes photos, videos, status updates and comments. Prosecutors can leverage your online activity to build a case against you, making it crucial to exercise caution.
One of the most enticing aspects of social media activity is that it can be time-stamped and may contradict statements you’ve made to law enforcement, prosecutors or the court. Inconsistencies between what you post online and what you say in legal proceedings can damage your credibility and harm your defense.
Finally, sharing details about your case or discussing legal matters with friends and family online can inadvertently implicate them in your case. Protecting their interests is also crucial.
Ultimately, blending criminal charges and social media is a perilous exercise. During this challenging time, it’s wise to exercise restraint and seek legal guidance concerning how to navigate your everyday activities in ways that will bolster a solid defense instead of undermine it.