Can Social Media Posts After an Arrest Hurt My Criminal Defense Case?

What you say on social media could haunt your case.

What you say on social media could haunt your case.

Several weeks ago, we wrote a blog discussing how social media posts could cause problems with your divorce case. The same is true if you are being charged with a crime and were recently released. What you say can be used against you by the prosecution. Many law enforcement officials sleuth social media accounts to investigate crimes.

A 2012 LexisNexus survey of federal, state and local law enforcement officials found that four out of five officers have used social media to gather information during investigations. Almost 50 percent of the respondents check social media accounts connected with open cases once per week. It is likely these figures have increased over the past five years.

What types of mistakes should you avoid on social media while you are being investigated? You should never, ever discuss your case online. Whether it is on social media or through private text messaging, whatever you say could be used against you later. It would also be wise to turn off tagging features until you have been cleared of any wrongdoing. Friends may tag you at places that could be used by the prosecution to create a harmful narrative. For instance, you could cause yourself problems if you are tagged at a bar after being charged with a DWI. Photos could also get you into trouble.

It should go without saying that you should never post evidence of crimes on social media. In 2013, a Florida teenager was charged with multiple felonies after posting photos of himself with drugs, stolen firearms and cash. Police later used the posts to connect the teenager to more than 30 burglaries in the Palm Beach area. In another case, an 18-year-old New Jersey man was arrested after posting a YouTube video of himself sneaking into a concert.

Perhaps the best course of action you could take is to simply stay off all social media accounts that you do not use professionally. By staying away from social media and by turning off tagging features, it would become more difficult to get yourself into trouble.

Charged with a Crime? Call our Lewisville Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing criminal charges, then it is important to have an attorney who could help guide you away from common mistakes. You may call the Lewisville criminal defense lawyers at Julian, Crowder & Shuster, P.C. if you have more questions on what to do if you are facing criminal charges.



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