Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become ingrained in our everyday lives. Whether it’s capturing a story of a recent trip or staying updated with loved ones and even current events, we provide online platforms with an ample amount of personal information and stay connected with the world.
However, if you get arrested or become subject to a criminal investigation, law enforcement will thoroughly search your social media accounts to find evidence to be used against you in a trial. From photos and videos to status updates and check-ins, anything you post or share can help investigators paint a clear picture of your whereabouts leading up to the alleged crime and when it was committed.
For example, if you shared a photo online of you consuming alcohol or posted a status update of how intoxicated you were before getting arrested for a DUI, such posts and statements are admissible in court. Even if only your friends can see your social media profile, there are those who are happy to share private posts or those who have more lenient privacy settings.
If you are currently under a criminal investigation, take the following steps to safeguard your social mediation activity and protect your rights and future:
- Stay away from social media until your case is over – As we mentioned before, privacy settings do not matter. Not only can investigators scour profiles of your friends with less secure privacy settings, but they can also obtain permission from social media platforms. It is not uncommon for law enforcement and social media representatives to work together on criminal investigations.
- Deleting your account is not a good idea – Since our social media accounts contain a plethora of personal—or even potentially incriminating—material, deleting them all sounds like a logical option. However, if you delete your accounts while an investigation is ongoing, such action could result in more legal trouble or even additional criminal charges.
- Let your friends know you’re avoiding social media – If your friends tend to tag you in every location you visit or communicate with you on social media messengers, tell them to only speak to you in person since the contents of your phone can be subject to investigation. However, you should only speak about your case with your lawyer.
- Hire an attorney – Whether or not you have compromising information on your social media accounts, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the complexities of your case and protect your rights in the process.
If you have been charged with a crime in Bakersfield, CA, contact Koenig Law Office today at (661) 338-5353 and request a free case review.