How Your Posts Can Haunt You
Despite what we all hope, privacy settings are not always private. Many of the social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram, cooperate with law enforcement when it comes to a criminal case. Additionally, even if you “delete” a post, it remains in the ether of the internet, waiting to be retrieved when the time is right. Once you share a post or photo, it is accessible forever. These facts can be used against you in several ways, specifically if you are facing criminal charges.
Contact our team at the Law Office of Kenneth A. Stover for legal guidance regarding social media.
There are three standard types of posts that can be used against you:
- Status updates: Depict mood and/or premeditation for an activity (or crime), whereabouts, who you were with at a given time, and your future plans
- Photos: Provide evidence of where you were at on a given date, if you were engaging in illegal or questionable activity, your state of mind before or after a crime was committed, etc.
- Check-ins: Indicate where you were/are at a certain time, show patterns of behavior and can aid in pinpointing your regular activities
Social media gives prosecutors insight as to who you are before you even enter the courtroom. Social media apps automatically time and date stamp all posts, and some even geographically tag them as well. This can aid in the prosecution’s case if they are searching for evidence of intent, intoxication or if there were witnesses or accomplices to a crime. Even being tagged in another person’s post can cost you your freedom if it can be used as evidence.
Preventing Social Media Mistakes
If you are facing criminal charges, the safest choice is to not share anything to social media while under investigation. “Anything you say or do can and will be used against you,” is not just a saying. The things you find innocent may not look that way to the prosecution. Any post, status update, check-in or tag that involves drinking, drugs, firearms, or questionable activity should be considered off limits until you are free and clear.
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If you are facing criminal charges, you must be smart when it comes to social media. Don’t let the fun of posting and sharing your activities, check-ins and tags ruin your chance at a fair trial. We can help you navigate the legal process if you are facing charges, and we can fight for you. Let our Reno criminal defense attorney help you protect your rights and advise you as to the safest way to still enjoy social media.