Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Traffic Violations, and Family Law & Divorce

Can your social media activity hurt your defense?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Drug Charges

If you have recently been charged with criminal wrongdoing, you need to be aware of the ways in which your digital footprint can impact the outcome of your case.

Technically, anything that you text, email or otherwise electronically communicate to others could potentially be used to undermine the strength of your criminal defense. But, of particular note is your social media activity. While law enforcement officers generally need a warrant to see your texts or your phone records, for example, social media platforms are public. Therefore, your social media activity is particularly easy to obtain and, therefore, particularly easy to use against you.

Considerations that you’ll need to treat seriously

Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are increasingly turning to social media for evidence that can potentially support their case against any particular defendant. Your posts, pictures, videos, comments and even private messages can be scrutinized for incriminating evidence or contradictions that may undermine your credibility. For example, prosecutors may use your social media activity to question your character or portray you negatively, influencing the perceptions of judges and jurors.

Given the potential implications associated with social media use while your case remains unresolved, exercising caution with social media is advisable. If you don’t feel that you can log off entirely, consider the following guidelines:

  • Pause Posting: Refrain from discussing your case, sharing your location or posting anything that could be interpreted unfavorably.
  • Privacy Settings: Review your privacy settings to limit who can see your past and future posts. However, you’ll also want to remember that privacy settings are not foolproof against legal subpoenas.
  • Seek Legal Guidance: Before deleting any content, consult with your defense team. Improper deletion can be seen as tampering with evidence.

As your social media activity can hurt your criminal defense, it’s time to minimize your digital footprint by either staying off social media or being very cautious when using it until your case is over.