Some people are surprised to learn that social media posts can actually be used against them in court. If you are facing criminal charges and anything that you share to Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok looks suspicious, you can be sure that a prosecutor will try and use those posts. That is why you want to have an experienced Bergen County defense lawyer on your side.
Can Social Media Posts Be Used in Court?
Yes, if a prosecutor finds your social media posts to be relevant, then they can use them against you in court as long as they are obtained in a legal manner. The prosecutor may be able to use your posts to find evidence against you or evidence of your association with other criminals. Facebook or Instagram posts can even invalidate an alibi defense by showing that you lied about your location at a certain time.
What Kinds of Social Media Posts Can Cause a Problem?
So you obviously need to be careful about your social media posts, but you should know that certain types of posts are more likely to attract attention than others. The state certainly won’t hesitate to use posts that:
- Show you drinking excessively
- Indicate that you use illegal drugs
- Would lead people to believe that you have the capacity for violence
- Contain details about victims or others involved in your case
- Contain threats
If your social media posts reflect poorly on you, the prosecution is probably quite eager to introduce them as evidence.
Aren’t My Social Media Posts Private?
Social media sites do have a lot of privacy settings these days. It’s easy to make sure that your tweets or Instagram posts only go to your followers, for example. Your privacy is simply not guaranteed in a criminal case though.
A prosecutor can ask social media companies for your posts and they may comply. Someone who follows you may also be able to give others access to your posts. These privacy settings are just unlikely to be effective protection.
What Happens If I Delete Any Potentially Damaging Posts?
Now that you have been criminally charged, you may be thinking about some posts that won’t reflect well on you. So is it a good idea to delete them? Probably not.
If the state already knows about the posts and they disappear, that is going to look bad. It may also be obvious if you are a prolific poster but now it looks like you had absolutely nothing to post during the time period when the crime occurred. You are better off talking to your lawyer about what kind of defensive strategy to deploy.
Talk to an Attorney
If you are facing serious criminal charges, you need to do everything that you can to establish a defense and fight back against any accusations. The Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri can help you do that. Contact our firm and schedule your free consultation today.