Social media helps to keep people connected and can inspire them to become increasingly engaged in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t be. But it can also serve as a double-edged sword, especially for individuals facing criminal charges. As a result, if you are currently under investigation or have already been arrested, it is time to take a break from social media.
Anything that you post can potentially be used against you in court. Prosecutors can (and probably will) scour your social media accounts for evidence, which might include photos, videos, comments or even location check-ins that could contradict your defense or portray you in a negative light. In some cases, even posts that seem harmless can be taken out of context and used to build a case against you or to undermine the strength of your defense.
The court of public opinion can be swift and harsh. Comments or reactions on social media can shape how the public perceives your case, which can indirectly influence the proceedings. It’s not uncommon for jurors to be influenced by public opinion, even subconsciously, and social media can play a significant role in shaping these views.
Additionally, the stress and emotion of a criminal case can lead to impulsive posts that might seem cathartic at the moment but can have lasting negative effects. A moment of frustration or anger could lead to a post that undermines your case or affects your character assessment in court.
Finally, depending on the nature of the charges you’re facing, the court may issue specific orders regarding your communication and behavior. Social media activity might inadvertently violate these orders, leading to additional legal complications.
Staying off social media isn’t an easy undertaking. However, when it comes to preserving your rights and freedom, it is going to be important not to post anything until your case is fully resolved.