How Social Media Can Hurt Your Criminal Case in Florida
For many of us, posting on social media is an everyday thing. We communicate freely with friends and family and use it to network professionally with peers and colleagues. Our updates, thoughts and pictures, however inconsequential they may be inside our social bubble, are published with only a vague afterthought of their possible impact on our lives. Very few of us, however, imagine that our online posts can become the mode used to convict us in a court of law.
Just a casual look through the news lately will tell you that chat room conversations, Facebook posts, emails, and text messages are increasingly viable fodder against you in court. That photo memory you uploaded to Instagram enjoying a joint with friends back in college could end up used as proof of a serious drug addiction, and that’s just one example.
Since your daily thoughts, artsy pictures, or check-ins at your favorite haunts are often admissible as evidence, consider how this occurs in our list of top ways social media can affect your court case.
Remember those words in the Miranda Rights, read by the police when arresting someone? This also applies to anything you have “said” online, whether publicly or privately. This goes as well for anything you have deleted, which can easily be found and resurrected by experts who know how to do so. Therefore, it is imperative to understand that what you say online could be a hard-copy piece of evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding in the future.
Your public social media posts or any online activity might be used as evidence against you. Just because impropriety on the part of law enforcement in obtaining it might shield you in a criminal case, it is very unlikely to be stifled in any civil matters. Ask a lawyer, and they will tell you that those fancy loopholes you see on television depicting evidence thrown out on a technicality usually only apply in cases against law enforcement, not in cases against civilians. Predicting the future is hard to do, and that’s all the more reason to be wary.
Keep in mind that the courts take into account your known associates and who you hang around. Just because the internet is not a physical place does not mean a chat room or a Facebook pal doesn’t imply intent or circumstantial evidence. What someone else posts online could be brought up by a lawyer to insinuate you share the same ideals or are culpable of a crime.
Also take into account the risks in this situation. Just as attempts at hiding physical evidence would be seen as questionable, so is deleting social media posts during an ongoing case. This appears suspicious to the court, and not to mention it is possibly a crime in itself. You would assume that someone who is caught disposing of a weapon after using it in a crime would receive an additional charge, and you quite possibly would receive the same: tampering with evidence.
If you are facing any type of litigation and are wondering if something you posted on social media can be used against you in court, it might be wise to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney.
In today’s age of social media technology, it can be difficult to understand what is admissible as evidence when going to trial and what’s not. The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Umansky Law Firm can help explain the complicated nature of online evidence and how it could potentially impact your case. With over 100 years of combined experience, our legal team has former Florida prosecutors at the both state and local level working to defend and protect the rights of our clients.
As recognized members of Florida Trend’s prestigious Legal Elite, we have proven our dedication to seeking the best possible outcomes for the cases our clients face. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation by calling us or live chat with us 24/7 here on our site.