In 2012, a very high-profile case hit the news involving the sexual assault of a teenage girl at a party. Investigators took to watching what was being said and done on social media, as the assault had been documented and shared by multiple people who were at the party at the time. The girl and her parents were able to save everything on the Internet and come forward to law enforcement, leading to police seizing cell phones and making arrests of suspects. Social media is known to help in some cases, but this can spell out bad news for some people – especially when information becomes skewed. This is why, if you have been charged with a crime, you want to keep information regarding your case off of social media until everything is said and done, and has blown over.
How Social Media Can Adversely Affect Your Case
Let’s look at an example: Let’s say that you have been charged with a DUI. Posts that you have made in the past could be made against you. Let’s say that you ‘checked in’ to a bar and then shortly after, posted a picture of you driving home. Maybe you made comments on someone’s Facebook profile about how you couldn’t find a designated driver, and to “wish you luck” as you drive home. This is evidence that could be used against you down the road when it comes to your case.
The problem with social media information and why it is so damaging is because it is so easily accessible. Even if you have your profile completely private, the people you were with that night might have shared photos of you drinking and tagged you in them, which could easily be seen by law enforcement officials. You need to be careful what you post and share with everyone, because attorneys are permitted to mine your social media, and deleting your social media while there is evidence and a trial happening could result in penalties, especially if it means you are covering up evidence.
There are many consequences to posting certain activities on social media, which is why you should always think before you post. It is okay to be truthful and, doing so has helped a many of cases, but you want to think about your own actions, especially if what you are doing might not be a good idea in the eyes of the law.