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How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case


Social media is everywhere nowadays, allowing people to share in ways that were previously impossible a mere decade ago. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow us to share our thoughts, daily activities, pictures, and more with just about anyone who cares to follow our profiles or accounts. While this might not typically be an issue for most individuals, when it comes to legal matters, problems can very easily arise if you continue to remain active online. The information you post can ultimately be used as evidence against you in court, no matter how private you might believe it is.

If you are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts, it is advisable that you halt your social media activity until your case is closed.

Below are some of the ways in which social media can have a negative impact on your criminal case:

  • Photos: Photo-sharing is a major part of social media, but if you are in the midst of a criminal investigation, the photos you post could be incriminating. Even if you did not post them yourself, you could end up getting tagged in a photo a friend of yours chooses to post. Either way, these pictures can be used as evidence against you in a criminal case. Ask your friends and family members not to post any photos of you or to tag you until your case reaches a resolution.
  • Posts: Anything you post to social media can be used against you in your criminal case. For example, if you post about wishing you could hurt a particular individual and, the following day, the two of you are involved in a physical altercation that results in your arrest, your post might prove that the act was premeditated. Your posts will be used to show your state of mind and to prove that you were the aggressor.
  • Check-ins: Many social media platforms allow users to check-in to specific locations. For someone who is involved in a criminal case, this is an excellent way for law enforcement to collect information and evidence regarding your whereabouts at the time the crime was committed. For example, checking-in to a location can be used to show that you were in or near the area where the crime was committed, which can strengthen the prosecution’s case against you.

Through social media, a prosecutor can get to know you before you ever set foot in the courtroom, providing a broad overview of your history as far back as your online activity goes. In fact, one survey revealed that 59% of law enforcement agency respondents contracted social media companies to obtain information that would later be used as evidence. Unfortunately, deleting your accounts will not do you much good since investigators can access deleted accounts if necessary. Instead, your best line of defense from this point forward is to stay off social media. This means you cannot post anything, “like” anything, comment on anything, check-in to any locations, or update your stories. Your future is at stake, so do what you can to protect it.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Quincy

If you are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts, it is critical that you obtain skilled legal assistance as soon as possible to protect your rights and future. At Flanagan & Associates, our Quincy criminal defense team has an extensive track record of success and is dedicated to providing clients with the knowledgeable and effective advocacy they need and deserve.

Call our office today at (617) 651-3220 to schedule your free case evaluation!