Social media platforms now affect the interpersonal communication styles of Americans to such a degree that it isn’t surprising when someone’s reaction to being charged with criminal wrongdoing is to vent about their experience on one or more of these platforms shortly after being released from temporary custody.
There is nothing wrong with venting on social media, as long as one isn’t breaking the law or hurting others. However, using social media while facing criminal charges can result in compromising the strength of one’s defense. As a result, it’s generally very important for criminal defendants to avoid using social media until their cases are resolved (ideally in their favor).
What’s wrong with using social media?
Prosecutors, investigators and law enforcement officers generally are restricted in the ways in which they can gather evidence in a criminal context. Most of the time, for example, they must secure warrants signed off by judges before they can access people’s phone records, emails, etc. However, social media platforms are public. Therefore, it’s now commonplace for these state agents to scroll the account activity of those who are under investigation and those who have been charged with wrongdoing.
You may be thinking that your privacy settings are maximized and that you’re careful about what you post, so everything should be fine. However, even seemingly innocent activity could be misinterpreted or twisted to bolster the state’s case. In the interest of being “safe, not sorry,” it’s simply better to avoid social media if you’re facing criminal charges.
If you have any questions about this subject or the ways in which any other everyday activity could potentially impact your case, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance. When it comes to the law, knowledge is power.