Most of us have a social media account. Usage in the United States shot up from 24 percent of the population in 2008 to 81 percent in 2017, according to Statista.
The fact that people from the President of the United States down use social media should not lull us into a false sense of security.
If you have been charged with a crime, there are very serious risks about being on social media. You should consider staying off social media altogether or even suspending your accounts.
If you have been charged with a crime, using social media can be detrimental to your case. Obviously posting anything about your case, or the advice from your lawyer is off limits. Even more tangential material like a status update on your mood may be linked to the case and be relevant information.
Even if you make a point not to post anything about your case, somebody else might comment on it and cause you to reply to their comment or to seek to correct them.
Police use social media as a tool in criminal investigations and will seize on anything on your social media accounts. An article in SmallBizTrends revealed many police departments are using sites like Facebook to solve crimes.
Criminals have bragged about thefts on social media and fugitives have been tracked down via the locational services on social media. CNN noted in one case police gathered enough evidence on social media to arrest more than 70 people for gang-related offenses.
In a specific case, police gathered enough information online to arrest 71 people involved in gang-related offenses.
In one case, a Florida man’s oversharing on Instagram led to the loss of his liberty. He posted pictures of himself with gun and cash and was hit with 142 felony charges, reported the New York Daily News.
Although people who want to brag about their crimes may be in the minority, there are many more common mistakes people can make on social media.
Although your social media accounts may be private, that does not mean the information cannot be used against you.
Speak to your lawyer about your social media presence. He will likely advise you not to use social media for any purpose until your case is resolved. It makes no sense to make it easier for police and prosecutors to get evidence on you.
You should be aware that some states have rules making it an offense for convicted sex offenders to use social media.
Social media bans by sex offenders came before the U.S. Supreme Court this year when the justices appeared skeptical about blanket bans keeping sex offenders off social media.
The justices considered a North Carolina law a sex offender was arrested under, making it a crime for registered sex offenders to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. They later threw out the ban, reported Bloomberg.
For advice about social media and how to handle your case, call our Tarrant County criminal defense lawyers today.