General Rule: If you are accused of a crime, STAY OFF of Social Media.
If you are like most people, you divulge much of your life on social media. While it may not seem harmful to talk about your day, share your fears or engage with friends and family over Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform, you should absolutely practice care in discussing anything related to a criminal case.
Although the process can be lengthy, most capable attorneys are able to get Social Media content admitted into evidence at trial.
When do courts allow social media evidence?
When it comes to direct messages and social media posts, there is a lot of metadata that the court can use to prove the authorship. Before anyone can admit social media evidence, it has to be relevant and it has to be authentic. The court can use social media to show your state of mind, and how you interact with others. The court can also allow social media as evidence to try to prove where you were at a certain time.
When is social media private?
If you have a private social media account, you may think that no one can access your account. Keep in mind that those who already have access to your information can show it to the prosecution. While a lawyer is barred from using deceptive practices to view your social media, law enforcement has been authorized through the use of warrants and specific investigative methods to contact individuals through social media while concealing their identity. Any attorney should engage yiou through your representation.
When it comes to social media, take care not to post anything incriminating and be careful about what you post. While attorneys should not violate ethical boundaries, they can use social media if discovered properly.
The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.