Social Media Evidence in Criminal Cases in California

Social Media Evidence in Criminal Cases in California

Social Media Evidence in Criminal Cases in California

If you are involved in a criminal case of any type, it is a mistake to post anything pertaining to the case on social media. In fact, it is in your interest to abstain from social media use until this legal quandary is over and done with. Even a seemingly innocent post added to one of your social media pages has the potential to negatively impact your quest for justice.

Social Media is a Trap for Those Charged With a Crime

You might feel as though there is no harm in posting your thoughts about your case to your social media pages as doing so triggers empathy from friends and family while simultaneously giving you an outlet for venting. However, opposing counsel, police officers, judges and others involved with your case might regularly visit your social media pages ranging from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and beyond.

Investigators and law enforcement are well within their rights to collect information from your social media pages to build a stronger case against you. This is precisely why it is a mistake to use these platforms while your case is still open. Even a seemingly harmless joke posted to social media can backfire in a big way, preventing you from beating the charge and returning your life to normal. So don’t broach the subject of your case on social media. If possible, pause all of your social media activity until your case ends.

The Police Investigation Extends to Social Media

Police investigators are now going to the extent of checking out suspects’ social media pages on a daily basis, extracting potentially helpful information to build a case and using it as evidence. In fact, law enforcement across the country agree social media is one of the most important information sources in criminal cases. Every single image, comment, status update and conversation you have on these platforms can be used against you in a court of law.

Protect Yourself

You have the power to bolster your case by refraining from using social media after you are questioned or charged in relation to a criminal act. Do not post anything to social media or even exchange supposedly private messages with others on social media. Instead, let your attorney handle all communications moving forward.

The bottom line is it is a mistake to discuss your case or anything related to the case on social media, through text message, on the phone, by email or through any other communication method. However, you can level with your legal representative as discussions with such a professional are fully protected through the attorney-client privilege.

How to Handle Inquisitive Friends

Your social circle will undoubtedly ask you questions about what you have been up to and how your case is going. Do not divulge any information pertaining to your case to friends as they might post something about you or your case on social media. In fact, it is even a mistake to discuss your case with a family member as he or she might post about it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Privacy Does not Exist on Social Media

Private accounts and messages on social media platforms are not actually private. The companies that own social media platforms and authorities can access social media accounts including supposedly private messages. So don’t communicate with someone on social media through private messages assuming the words you type in will remain private. When in doubt, say and type nothing, let your attorney speak on your behalf and be patient.