More than 70% of Americans have a social media account. They might use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, possibly all three. Or they post videos on YouTube or TikTok.
If you are facing criminal charges, we can’t emphasize enough how careful you need to be on social media. The reality is that your social media posts could become evidence during your trial. Prosecutors might even seek legal permission from a judge to view any account you’ve made private.
As Houston criminal defense lawyers, we work closely with clients to manage their reputations and limit the amount of incriminating evidence the state gets ahold of. Contact us to discuss your case today.
Set Accounts to Private & Decline friend Requests
There’s no reason to make it easy for a prosecutor to review your Facebook or Insta posts. Set your account to private and don’t accept any friend requests. Who knows, someone in the prosecutor’s office could be sending you a request so they can view your profile.
Take Down Profile Pictures
Usually, some information is visible to people who aren’t your friends. A profile picture is one. If your profile picture is you holding a beer bottle, then this is a disaster if you are facing DWI charges. We would recommend taking a profile picture down unless it is very inoffensive.
Going private isn’t enough. You should also avoid posting. In fact, we recommend staying off social media entirely until your criminal case is finished. This means not liking other people’s posts and not commenting on photos or videos.
Why? For one thing, you might slip up and say something about your pending trial. But even something harmless like laughing at a joke might rub the prosecutor or even the judge the wrong way. If you’re facing DWI charges for hitting a pedestrian, the judge will probably become hostile if he sees you’re on social media laughing at videos or joking with friends. Invisibility is key.
Can Social Media Posts Be Used Against Me?
Yes, they can. If a judge believes the evidence is probative of a relevant issue, then a prosecutor can usually use it. For example, you might be accused of burglary in a neighborhood far from where you live. But if you have pictures of yourself in the neighborhood, the prosecutor might use them to show you’ve been there before.
Some people foolishly post pictures of them doing drugs or drinking alcohol. These photos can be very relevant in certain criminal prosecutions.
It’s always best to keep as much personal information out of the public eye as possible. Without the picture, for example, your lawyer could play up how unlikely it was you would have been in the neighborhood in question.
Call Tad Nelson Today
Social media allows us to keep in touch with friends and distant relatives. But sometimes sharing personal information is a bad thing. If you’ve been arrested, we can help you take sensible steps that increase the odds of a favorable resolution to your case. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.