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The Negative Effects of Social Media in a Criminal Case

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, social media has made the world more connected than ever before and become a significant part of our day-to-day life. Billions of people use these accounts to express themselves, share their personal photos and videos, as well as stay updated with the lives of their loved ones and keep track of current events.

However, if you are facing criminal charges, your social media activity can be used against you as evidence in court. Although you may assume your privacy settings are enough to prevent third parties—other than your friends or followers—from viewing your accounts, it is not uncommon for social media platforms to cooperate with law enforcement officials to reveal private information—with or without a subpoena or warrant.

The following are several ways the police can use photos, videos, check-ins, and tags against you:

  • Find new evidence from either your accounts or your friends’ and followers’ accounts
  • Learn about your whereabouts before the crime occurred and confirm alibis
  • Find any additional suspects and witnesses
  • View any incriminating statements to establish a motivation for the alleged offense

As soon as you are arrested or learn about the criminal investigation against you, it is imperative to stop using social media until your case concludes. While you may believe it’s best to delete all of your social media accounts, such action could be construed as intentionally destroying evidence, which can lead to additional charges.

You must also inform your friends and family to avoid sharing and tagging photos and videos that include you and stop checking you into places. In addition, avoid discussing your case with anyone in your direct messages.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer should be the only one you talk to about your ongoing case. Your attorney can ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your rights and freedom.

If you have been charged with a crime in Miami, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. and schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options with our team.

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