If you are facing criminal charges in Philadelphia, it is almost always a prudent approach to avoid using social media while the case is in progress. What you post, share, comment on, or like online can make your situation worse than it already is.
Reports show that police departments regularly track and monitor individuals on social media platforms and collect information for criminal investigations and to maintain public safety. In other words, just like anything you say to the police can and will be used against you, anything you post or share online in the midst of a criminal proceeding can (and most likely will) be used against you.
How Social Media Could Impact Your Criminal Case
Picture this scenario: You are facing assault charges. You continue to use your social media like you normally do. One day, you post the following message: “I’m at the movies and the person sitting next to me is talking on his phone loudly. I feel like kicking his ass.”
In the aforementioned scenario, the prosecution can use your post to paint a picture of you as a hot-headed person who can turn violent for any reason. Needless to say, it can make an adverse impact on your case and make your defense lawyer’s job a lot harder.
Things You Should Know about Using Social Media While You Face Criminal Charges
- The police do not need a search warrant or court order to access the information you publicly post on social media.
- There is no such thing called privacy on social media. Even if you set your account to private, the police can get a court order and get the information they need. Even if you chat with your followers through DMs (direct messages), the police can still get the information they need directly from the social media platform itself.
- Apart from what you post or share on social media, investigators can also use what others post about you to piece together crimes and build a strong case against you.
- If you believe that your social media account contains information that could impact your case, do not delete it. It can only make things worse for you. Depending on the circumstances, rules of evidence might be applicable to your social media account. If you delete it as soon as you are charged with a crime, it could be seen as an attempt to destroy evidence – for which you could face additional charges.
- Before you post anything on social media, keep in mind that once you post it, you might never be able to delete it. Social media platforms are known to save and retain their users’ messages – including deleted messages – for a period of time. Moreover, just about anyone can copy or take a screenshot of what you post and keep it with them forever.
Facing Criminal Charges? Get Legal Help from Trusted and Resourceful Criminal Defense Lawyers in Philadelphia
Attorney Basil D. Beck III has more than 25 years of experience in defending Philadelphia residents facing criminal charges. He has earned the respect of the legal community and his clients for his track record of obtaining favorable outcomes even in cases involving serious criminal charges.
Criminal defense attorney Basil D. Beck III can represent you, give your case the personalized attention it needs, develop a strong defense, and fight aggressively to obtain the best possible result. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our legal team, call us today at 610-239-8870 or fill out our online contact form.