Social media is everywhere these days – after all, it’s social. From Twitter and Facebook to LinkedIn and Pinterest, we seemingly spend most of our time glued to our screens. While we often view these sites as harmless fun, however, they can do serious damage to any legal issues or claims being undertaken. Here’s how social media can affect your court case.
Social Media is Admissible in Court
Posting on your Facebook account or on Twitter may not seem like a big deal, but it really can be. Social media may lend itself towards more spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous posting, but avoiding it before or during a court case is critical. Why? Because social media posts are admissible as evidence in court.
If you are going through a messy divorce or involved in a civil suit, and you post negative or harassing comments about the other party, this can be used against you. It may even be used as evidence in a libel suit, should the evidence prove you were lying or slandering the other parties involved. If you are seeking compensation for an injury, but you post photographs of yourself enjoying a family skiing holiday in Colorado, this can be used as proof that your injuries were not serious, or life-changing.
Social media can be especially damaging when defending yourself against criminal charges. If you attack prosecutors, the judge, jury, or even the victims in online posts, you can seriously undermine your defense. Because of the serious implications of social media in court cases, there are certain rules you should follow when online.
Social Media Tips
If you are a regular poster on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, here’s what you need to avoid doing so you don’t ruin your court case:
- If you are involved in a personal injury claim, don’t post any updates on your injuries. The defendants and their attorneys will be monitoring for anything that can potentially damage your claims.
- Never post anything when you are angry or frustrated.
- Do not comment about your case. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
- Don’t post photos or videos. Any proof that your injuries have not diminished your quality or enjoyment of life can hurt your claims in a civil suit.
- Avoid posting activities on your Facebook page.
- Don’t tag yourself. Anything you are tagged in, even if it someone else’s picture or video could hurt your case.
When it comes to Facebook and court cases, the best advice you can take is to eliminate Facebook entirely – especially if you are in doubt as to what you should, and shouldn’t, do. If you absolutely feel that you can’t live without your social media accounts, your best option is to set them to “private” to keep the defense from viewing your posts, photos or videos.
Contact a South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you face charges, speak to an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney about your case, as well as how to handle your online presence during this difficult period.
Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.