Many people love sharing about their day or their accomplishments on social media, but we all know that person who shares a little too much information online. Most times this is pretty harmless, but oversharing or incorrectly using social media can have major implications for your criminal case. In today’s blog, we explain how social media can negatively affect your pending criminal case, and how to navigate the medium as your case plays out.
Social Media And Your Criminal Case
When it comes to social media, it can do a lot of harm and not much good when it comes to your criminal case, so make smart decisions when you’re online. For starters, there is the obvious way that messages, updates or pictures could be used to make a case against you. For example, if you have a no contact order with your ex, and they can print out timestamped messages showing that you sent a direct message, you’re going to have a really hard time getting any sympathy from the judge, let alone winning your case.
Aside from the obvious, there are the more unintentional ways of tanking your case. For example, posting pictures drinking alcohol or checking in at bars while your DUI case is pending isn’t going to put you in a favorable light with the court, even though you’re not technically doing anything wrong with your actions. You should not only ask yourself “Is what I’m doing on social media illegal as it pertains to my case,” but also ask, “Would I want the prosecution or judge seeing this?” If you’re even questioning it a little, don’t post it.
We’ve also run into the individual who believes they are immune from the pitfalls of social media because their profile is private. This is a bad way to look at the situation for a number of reasons. For starters, all it takes is one disgruntled friend, family member or old high school classmate to pass your “private” information on to the prosecution. We’ve even seen instances where insurance adjusters create fake profiles and try to “friend” claimants to see if they are lying about their injuries. A similar move for the prosecution is not out of the question. Finally, there’s also the possibility that you may be mistaken in how private your profile actually is.
We tell all of our clients to act as if anything they are posting on social media will be viewed by the prosecution and the judge. And again, don’t just ask yourself if what you’re posting is in direct violation of a court order. If it could in any way reflect poorly on yourself, don’t post it, tweet it, or share it on the gram. Our job is hard enough without you hurting your own case, so be smart about what you post to social media if you have pending criminal charges!
If you’re willing to do what it takes to put yourself in the best position to earn a favorable outcome, we’re willing to defend you with everything we have. To learn more about how we can help with your case, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today.