Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are just a few social media platforms that are used to connect and communicate with friends. You can choose your privacy settings and who you engage with, but can your social media postings influence your criminal case?
Facebook alone has close to 2 billion monthly users throughout the world. It is important that you know how social media use can directly affect your case and future if you are facing criminal charges.
Government access to social media
In many cases, the government does not even need a subpoena, court order or warrant to seek out information on your social media account. Even when your privacy settings are strict, the things you post online can often be used against you in a court of law.
Updates about your case
Your family and friends want to know when you graduate from high school or college, when you get a new job or when you buy a new house. They do not need to be updated about your criminal case through social media. It may even be beneficial to deactivate all your social media profiles while your case is open.
Deleted content accessibility
Say you are facing a drunk driving charge, and you posted pictures of yourself with a beer in your hand right before you got in the car. Even if you go in and delete the post that all but proves your guilt, it is still accessible. Just because you delete something does not mean it goes away forever.
Friends tagging you
Even if you post nothing incriminating, your friends can. You have little control over when you are tagged or included in something another friend posts. This is another reason it may be better to delete your accounts until your case is over.
If you are facing criminal charges, the first thing you should do is hire an attorney. A criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the use of social media during your case and keep you from posting anything incriminating about yourself.