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Criminal Case Basics: Even Your Social Media Account Can Be Used Against You

Posted on in Criminal Law

Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you have ever had your Miranda rights read to you, then you are familiar with the phrase, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” but did you know that this applies to more than just your words? Everything from camera footage obtained at the scene to the items in your pocket, and right on down to your social media account can be mined for information. Yes, that is correct: your social media account can be used as evidence in a criminal charges case. Worse yet, it could mean the difference between a dismissal and a guilty verdict. Learn more about protecting yourself with help from the following.

Direct Evidence of a Crime

One of the absolute worst things you can do on social media is broadcast your crime, yet many have done it. A group of teens that raped a young girl, the man that was arrested after he posted a video of himself drinking and driving, and the recent shooting of an elderly man were all caught on Facebook live. All these situations, and many others can be used as direct evidence of a crime. Of course, the information on your account does not have to be quite as blatant.

Posting a selfie near a convenience store that you were accused of robbing can place you at the scene of a crime. Tagging a friend that you were with earlier in the day can implicate you in a crime they later committed. Even something as simple as a “rant” can be used as evidence of your state of mind prior to or during the commission of a crime.

Privacy Settings Can Mitigate the Damage

While increasing the privacy settings of your social media account after an arrest may not remove all your information from public view before law enforcement sees it, it could potentially mitigate some of the damage. As such, anyone who is arrested should ensure their privacy settings are set to where only certain people can view their information (typically family and friends). You should also avoid posting any new information until your case has ended.

Never Delete Your History

On the one hand, deleting your social media history might seem like the answer to removing incriminating evidence. Unfortunately, information that has been placed on the internet is never truly erased. It can still be obtained by law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys with a warrant or subpoena. Then, to add insult to injury, you could also be charged with obstructing justice for deleting the posts in the first place.

Our Arlington Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a crime and you believe social media may play a role in your case, contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, for assistance. Backed by over 25 years of experience, our aggressive Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney will take swift action to mitigate the damage and protect your rights. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your consultation by calling 847-253-3400 today.

Sources:

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/defenders/criminals-leave-a-trail-of-evidence-on-social-media

http://time.com/4746708/steve-stephens-facebook-killing/

http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/cleveland-facebook-murder-raises-questions-about-social-medias-role

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/second-boy-arrested-gang-rape-chicago-teen-streamed-facebook-live-n742341

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/drunk-driving-facebook-video-leads-to-dustin-rittgers-arrest_us_568443eae4b0b958f65b27cb

 

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