Social Media and Criminal Charges

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Uncategorized

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerOnce you post something on social media, you need to assume that the police or prosecutors can find it and use it against you during a criminal trial. Over the years, law enforcement has become very savvy in the ways they can find and access your social media posts as well as how they are used in court.

It is advisable that you tighten your privacy settings and review anyone who can see your profile. Even doing this, however, you should not expect that you have any control over the material once you post or upload it to a social media site. Such material can be shared or reposted and “go viral,” especially if the material appears to portray a crime taking place or other outrageous conduct.

Here are four ways a prosecutor may attempt to use material found on social media:

Placing You at the Scene

Social media posts of photos can place you at the scene or vicinity of the crime on the time and day in question. Some social media posts also tag your location automatically, and other sites allow you to “check-in” to a business, thereby keeping a record of your whereabouts.

Proving Relationships

Perhaps someone accused of a crime is linked to your page, or a photo of you and the person in question is posted. In fact, such a photo could be posted by someone other than yourself who has fewer privacy controls on their social media account.

Coloring Your Character

Pictures can be very misleading pieces of evidence. On the surface, they look straightforward. One might think, “How can a photo lie?” In practice, however, photos can create an impression to a judge or jury that is inaccurate.

Also, it may be that your posts are artistic in nature and have no real basis in your life. Many people publish poetry, song lyrics or short stories that depict illegal or unsavory acts. While you may not be guilty of such conduct, that can be a difficult argument to make to a judge or jury.

While character evidence of the accused is not allowed in many cases under evidence law, a photograph posted on social media and admitted into evidence for a permissible purpose may also have aspects that would be harmful to your reputation in front of a judge or jury.

Disproving a Defense

Social media posts may destroy your alibi by placing you someplace else. You could also claim that you were sick or injured at the time in question. Such a defense could be ruined by social media posts.

Call A Chicago, IL Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Social media use is just one aspect a criminal defense lawyer can give you counsel on. If you are accused of a federal criminal crime, you need an experienced lawyer who can give you individualized representation. Call our law firm today to speak to an accomplished Chicago, IL federal criminal defense attorney. We can be reached at 312-629-0669.



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