Nearly every person in the world uses social media on a daily basis. Whether it’s sharing photos on Instagram, posting a recent incident on Twitter, or reading the latest news reports on Facebook, these platforms keep all of us connected and contain a substantial amount of our own information.
However, those who are subject to a pending criminal investigation should be careful when using social media. The truth is that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies will scour our social media profiles for any evidence they can use against us in a court of law.
The prosecution can obtain your history and whereabouts when the alleged crime occurred, searching your posts, pictures, videos, shares, and conversations with friends. Social media sites use timestamps, GPS monitoring, tagged friends, and other information which investigators can piece together to build a complete picture of the incident. Posting anything incriminating about yourself, your arrest, or your recent actions can come back to harm you if your case goes to trial.
Many users believe their customized privacy settings protect them from public viewing. However, these settings do not guarantee protection. Facebook and other platforms often cooperate with law enforcement to reveal “protected” information on anyone charged with a criminal offense. Additionally, investigators can search through profiles of mutual friends who do not have strict privacy settings. Never assume your social media information cannot be accessed by other parties.
If you are currently under investigation, our Milwaukee criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella encourages you to avoid using social media until the conclusion of your case. Do not discuss any details of your case with anyone else but your lawyer.
While you may think deleting your social media accounts is a great idea, it is important not to do so. Intentionally deleting information after you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense can be viewed as destruction of evidence, resulting in more severe penalties and perhaps evidence of guilt.
For more information, contact us and discuss your case with our experienced legal team today.