If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, you may not have considered how your online activities could affect your case. According to the latest numbers from Pew Research, seven in ten Americans now use social media to connect with friends, loved ones, and professional resources. Social media is also a popular source of entertainment.
Increasingly, we are seeing social media use in the news as it relates to crime. Either criminals are caught on camera and the results posted to social media accounts or some incriminating information is posted by the defendant themselves. When you’re fighting for your freedom, every move you make is critical, and your online activities will likely be scrutinized. Here are just six ways that your social media activity could impact an ongoing drug case.
- When Your “Harmless” Posts Become Evidence
Have you been careless about what you post on social media and who you choose to interact with on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Unfortunately, much of what happens on social media is emotion-driven. People get into disputes on these websites, block other users, or make posts that are meant to get some attention.
Regardless of your privacy settings, anything that you post on social media is considered “public” and can be used as evidence against you later. In fact, some past social media posts can be used simply to establish your character for the court.
- Deleted Content Doesn’t Really Go Away
If you think that you can just go into your profiles and “clean them up,” you are most likely mistaken. Anything incriminating has a chance of living indefinitely on the internet or backed up on some website’s server. We see this daily when a celebrity or politician post something inflammatory only to remove it soon after. Not only do screenshots of the post live in infamy, but forensic investigators can pull up deleted posts if needed.
- Posts by Friends and Possible Accomplices
Let’s assume that you’ve tried your best not to post anything unwise or incriminating, but your “friends” could care less about your responsible social media habits. If friends post pictures or video of you in damning circumstances, the material is fair game. Also, if friends “tag” you in posts, they can be used as evidence.
- Keeping the Public Updated on Your Case
While it’s probably true that some friends and family are concerned about you and your pending charges, giving updates on social media probably isn’t the best decision. Anything you post about your case, including opinions, attorney recommendations, strategy, or witnesses, is going to be read by the police and prosecutor. If you were hoping to gain any sort of advantage, you are achieving exactly the opposite by publishing everything online. Your best course of action is to avoid any mention of your case or charges going forward.
- Your Attempt to be Funny Has Consequences
We’ve seen some tragic results from the fact that sarcasm doesn’t always come across correctly on a computer screen or that people may not have the same sense of humor as the original poster. If you are a jokester, now is the time to start thinking twice about what you post. “Admitting” to a crime online, even if you are being sarcastic and trying to make a point could be taken completely out of context and held against you later.
- You Fail to Tell Your Attorney About Your Social Media Profiles
If you’re active on social media, you need to tell your attorney so that they can both review your profiles and give you sound legal advice. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by “evidence” that the prosecution found online. The more you tell your Alabama drug crime attorney, the faster they can work to build a strong case for your defense.
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, you could be facing some stiff penalties. Every move you make from this point forward could make the difference between a successful resolution of your case and harsh fines and jail time. Not only should you stay off social media, but you should also consult with an Alabama drug crimes attorney that is experienced with these types of cases. Contact The Alsobrook Law Firm LLC at (334) 737-3718 or online to schedule a free consultation.