Why Social Media Can Be Dangerous To Your Criminal Case

People use social media to communicate not only with individuals but to express themselves to the masses. There’s a lot of psychology out there about why a person would want to share their morning cup of coffee or post a photo of their pet. While we’re not here to get into the reasons why people share, we do acknowledge that giving up social media when faced with criminal charges can be extremely challenging. As frustrating and unnerving as facing criminal charges can be, it seems to take to social media to share your perspective on what happened.

However, we almost always tell our clients to refrain from social media when faced with criminal charges, because of the potential damage it can do to a case. Though it may seem like common sense to some people, it is indeed a more difficult challenge than you might expect, especially if you are a person who is very active on social media.

If you are being charged with a crime, chances are it is one of the biggest things happening in your life at the moment. And while you may not be inclined to share the specific details of your case, you may want to post updates about your situation using coded language. If the charges are being brought against you by an individual with whom you share mutual friends, you may find that those “subliminal” messages are not taken as so subliminal and could be interpreted in court as a threat against your accuser.

It is also important that you do not use social media messaging applications to communicate with individuals about a case. The use of features like Facebook Messenger or Direct Message to contact someone who may involved in your case (i.e. your accuser or a potential witness), can be incredibly damaging to your case. If you have an attorney, simply listen to their policy around social media and apply their recommended best practices. If someone is using social media messaging apps to contact you about your case, it is equally important that you do not respond, and if you feel it is something relevant, simply refer them to your attorney. Keep in mind that an individual can always print messages, posts, and status updates and use them as evidence in a case against you.

You must also remember that social media comes with geo-location features, timestamps, etc. that can all play a part in your criminal case. Even old posts from seemingly long ago can come back to haunt you. Things you do not remember posting could also affect your case, and so it is important that you let your attorney know of any social media instances that involve yourself, your accuser and any potential witnesses.

At the Nieves Law Firm, we are experienced with criminal cases and the pitfalls of social media and how to avoid them. Our clients are well informed and educated on why social media can be harmful, and we provide support to make sure that you know and understand all aspects of your legal defense. If you, or someone you know, is facing criminal charges give our office a call today to find out more about how we can help you!

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