In the age of social media, it’s important to be mindful of the information we share online – especially when it comes to criminal cases. Social media has proven to be a precious tool for law enforcement in solving crimes, but it can also significantly impact criminal cases.
1. Social Media Can Help Solve Crimes
Social media has been an instrumental tool in solving crimes. Law enforcement agencies have utilized social media to gather evidence, identify suspects, and even locate missing persons. For instance, the police in Texas identified and apprehended two suspects related to a murder case shared on Facebook through a video recorded by the shooters.
In some cases, social media posts provide evidence of wrongdoing, which can be used as incriminating evidence in a trial. This evidence can range from posts or messages that describe illegal activity, photographs that depict incriminating behavior, or videos that display a criminal act perpetrated by the person on trial.
2. Social Media Has The Potential To Help Convict Criminals
The internet is permanent, and this is true for social media. If you have posted anything online that is incriminating, it can be used as evidence against you in a court of law. Recently, social media accounts have been used to help convict criminals. For example, a man in Arkansas who had committed multiple sexual assaults was convicted based on a Facebook post that he had made.
3. Social Media Posts Can Influence Juries
Social media can influence people's opinions, and this includes jurors. Sometimes, jurors have been known to search for information about a case on social media, even after being warned against it.
While it is illegal to make statements about a case that has not yet been decided, people with strong opinions or personal connections to someone involved may be more likely to post about it on social media, which can be seen by jurors and influence their verdict.
4. Be Careful What You Post
The information we share on social media can have irreversible, long-term consequences. Everyone should be mindful of what they post to avoid jeopardizing a criminal case. Sharing personal opinions or information on a criminal case that has not yet been decided can tarnish the defendant's reputation and influence the trial's outcome. Similarly, sharing any information about the defendant that has not been made available during a trial, such as criminal history, is against the law and can be considered contempt of court.
San Diego Criminal Defense Law Firm
As social media continues to evolve, its impact on criminal cases cannot be ignored. Knowing the potential risks and understanding how to navigate these challenges, you can protect your defense and ensure a fair trial. At Dont Talk Legal Center, we specialize in helping clients navigate the complexities of social media in criminal cases. Contact us today at (858) 544-1386 to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.