There is no question that social media has become integral to our society. It has revolutionized the way people interact and share information. However, as social media has become more ubiquitous, it has also impacted other areas of our lives, including our criminal justice system.
Nowadays, if you face criminal charges, the courts can use social media posts, messages and photos to build a case against you. Thankfully, there are simple ways that can help you mitigate this risk.
Be mindful of what you post
Avoid posting anything incriminating or damaging to your defense. It may be a post or a message related to the crime you are defending against. Any photos or comments that other people could misinterpret count as well.
Change your privacy settings
Make sure to set your profile to private. You may also limit access to your social media accounts to people you know and trust. Just keep in mind that even if your profile is private, your posts and messages could still be obtained through a court order or search warrant.
Delete incriminating posts
If you have already posted something that could be damaging to your defense, consider deleting it. However, be aware that deleting posts after being charged with a crime could be viewed as tampering with evidence. If you are unsure if you can delete a post, consult your attorney first.
Monitor your social media presence
It is important to monitor your social media presence and know what is being posted about you online. Try setting up Google alerts for any relevant keywords related to your case. If you discover something that could be damaging to your defense, bring it to the attention of your attorney.
Work with your attorney
It is crucial to work with your attorney to develop a strategy for managing your social media presence. Your attorney can help you understand what to post and what to avoid. They can also guide you on handling any potentially damaging posts that already exist.
Social media can be a powerful tool. It can build or damage a defense against criminal charges. It is in your best interest to use social media responsibly at these times. Just do not forget to do it ethically and within the bounds of the law.