From communicating with loved ones and conducting business to posting vacation photos and keeping up with current events, millions of Americans and billions of people all over the world use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share their lives.
Unfortunately, if a person gets arrested for a criminal offense, law enforcement authorities can use his/her social media activity against them in court. Prosecutors, police officers, and investigators will look for any criminal evidence to convict a suspect of a crime.
For example, if you are accused of a sex crime, investigators will try to find any heavily sexualized content on your social media posts. If you are accused of a violent crime like assault, any threats you made to the victim on social media can prove that you instigated the confrontation.
In addition, photos, videos, and even tags can place you at crime scenes during the time the offense in question took place or implicate your criminal involvement. For instance, images of drunk driving or drug use can be used as evidence in court.
Although you may feel like you’re safe because of your customized privacy settings, social media platforms have constantly cooperated with criminal investigations by providing law enforcement with a suspect’s personal information without the user’s knowledge. Furthermore, police can collect evidence by searching through your friends’ and family members’ profiles that have more lenient privacy settings.
The following are several tips to take if you are subject to a criminal investigation:
- Once you are arrested or learn about the charges against you, avoid being active on social media until your case is resolved.
- Avoid discussing your case through messaging services offered by social media platforms and only talk to your lawyer.
- Do not delete your social media accounts because this type of action could be viewed as “destroying evidence,” which could result in further legal trouble.
- Ask your social media contacts to avoid posting anything with you in it or tagging you.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Birmingham, AL, contact Tidwell Law Group, LLC today and schedule a free consultation today.