If you have been charged with a crime – or you’re aware that you’re under investigation because law enforcement officers suspect that you’ve engaged in criminal activity – it is very important to act as if your actions are being scrutinized at virtually all times. This is not to say that you should walk around feeling paranoid.
Instead, it means that you should be conscious of the fact that the choices you make now could ultimately impact the outcome of your case in significant ways. For instance, if you post something on a social media platform that can be directly or indirectly interpreted as evidence of poor judgment, poor character or even of your guilt, it could be used against you. Indeed, any activity that could be misinterpreted or twisted to undermine the strength of your defense could be used against you.
Log on – and off – cautiously
If you can avoid social media entirely until your case is resolved, that will be your safest bet. However, that isn’t a realistic option for some people, especially if you are compelled to engage with social media as part of your job duties.
If you need to stay on social media to some degree, keep in mind that law enforcement officers and prosecutors now regularly scroll the account activity of defendants in search of evidence to bolster their cases. Don’t give them a single reason to doubt your innocence.
You also do not want to delete things from your account without legal guidance, since even that kind of activity can be recorded (and whatever you deleted may already be saved somewhere or retrievable) and look incriminating.
Only post pictures, words and other forms of engagement that you would have no trouble being confronted with in open court. Additionally, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance if you’re ever unsure of how to approach this challenge.