These days, pretty much everyone has a social media profile. While social media is an excellent tool for meeting new “friends” and interacting with loved ones, there are instances when its use can get you in trouble. One such instance is when you are the subject of a criminal investigation or trial.
If you have been indicted and charged with a crime, you need to be careful what you share online. The truth is the police will look all over for evidence that they can use to convict you. And that includes pitching a tent on your social media profile.
How social media activity can hurt your case
With advances in technology, the legal system is adopting innovative and effective ways of investigating and resolving crimes. In fact, it is not uncommon for the prosecution to obtain a warrant to search your social media profiles.
Posting anything that can incriminate you, like bragging about illegal actions like assault or threatening your accuser can hurt your criminal case. An example would be a situation where you brag about “teaching your accuser a lesson” if you are charged with assault. But, it is not only what you post that matters. The police can rely on social media posts to connect the dots and contact the people in your social networking cycle for investigation or evidence gathering.
Depending on the nature of the crime you are being accused of committing, the police can retrace your whereabouts when the crime in question is alleged to have occurred. This can include your past posts, photos and conversations that relate to the crime in question. Remember, social media sites use timestamps, GPS tracking and tagged friends. All these can offer invaluable information when you are under investigation.
Know your rights
Now that you know how social media can impact your criminal case, it is important that you understand how to safeguard your rights and interests when charged with a crime.