Social media is the virtual playground where we share our lives, connect with friends, and stay updated on the latest buzz. We’re even guilty of it at our office. Social media allows us to connect and see life through the eyes of another person, and are as much a part of our daily routine as brushing our teeth.
It’s no secret that personal posts can come back to haunt you professionally and socially, so it stands to reason that they’re bound to haunt you legally as well. As tempting as it might be, it’s never a good idea to share your legal troubles on social media, particularly when it comes to criminal allegations. Using your right to remain silent works in person, and online.
The Consequences of an Online Presence
Your friends, family, and followers are not the only ones monitoring your social media. Although private conversations may not be immediately available to law enforcement without a warrant, your public posts and personal information, such as your whereabouts and with whom you associate will be readily available to investigators. Your social media presence could be a treasure trove of evidence for the police from photos and status updates, to check-ins and tags under your name.
Imagine this, you’re enjoying yourself at a party and you and other partygoers post pictures of your evening. Later, a friend from the party is found in possession of an illegal substance, such as cocaine, or marijuana. While investigators search through their social media, they find you being photographed with illegal substances. Whether or not you were even aware of their presence, you could be tied to the criminal activity in some way.
Another common example is found in DUI charges. You’re out with friends enjoying adult beverages, having a great time. It seems like a great way to document your life and share happy memories. But later, you’re pulled over under suspicion of a DUI and those photos can now be used as evidence against you.
Social Media After an Arrest
If your social media is free and clear of any indication of your activities prior to an arrest, it’s best to keep it that way even after you’ve posted bail. While awaiting trial, and during proceedings, you should never post to social media. The following are some key tips to follow:
Radio Silence – When you’re in the hot seat, it’s best to lay low on social media until your case is resolved. Even private accounts aren’t safe from investigators who can get warrants to access your information. Better safe than sorry!
Don’t Delete! – As tempting as it may be to wipe your accounts clean, deleting them during an ongoing investigation can look suspicious and draw unwanted attention. In many cases, even if it’s been deleted, that doesn’t mean it’s gone forever.
Get Support From Friends – Just because you’re awaiting trial doesn’t mean you can’t continue to live your life. Remember to let your friends know that it’s important to you that they don’t post pictures of you or tag you in any group activities online out of respect for your privacy.
Get The Legal Backup You Need
We know that it’s easier said than done when it comes to posting to social media. You also don’t have to avoid it completely. The most important thing to remember is that your online behavior and the persona you present have consequences. Think twice before posting anything online, and make sure you and your friends are on the same page about what you’re comfortable with.As always, as soon as you’re facing legal troubles, you need to contact your lawyer, Malcolm Anthony, to guide you through every step of your case. Our legal team will fight to protect your rights and your future. Prosecutors may try to use your social media presence as ammunition against you, but we’re here to make sure you get a fair trial. If you’re facing criminal allegations and need someone on your side, contact the office of Malcolm Anthony, P.A., by calling (904) 285-4529 today.