With millions and billions of people who have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other accounts on various platforms on the internet, social media has changed the way people communicate and obtain information. Many people share a wide variety of aspects of their lives. From thoughts and emotions to new stories and political opinions, nothing is really off limits online.
However, when it comes to a criminal investigation or pending case, you should be aware of what you or your friends post on social media. Any details about your case should remain offline.
What Do Police & Prosecutors Look For?
According to a CNN report, law enforcement uses the internet to obtain evidence of criminal activity – especially on social media platforms. Even content that is considered innocent in nature can be used as evidence against you in a criminal proceeding.
Police and prosecutors search thoroughly social media accounts to look for the following:
- Incriminating photographs, videos, posts, tags, or other suspicious content
- Location tags which put users in a specific place at a specific time
- Posts or images which contradict an alibi or undermine statements made at a different time during the investigation
- Information related to your activities and whereabouts before, during, and after an alleged crime
- Potential accomplices
- Potential witnesses
- Evidence of other unrelated crimes
How to Handle Social Media While Your Case is Pending
If you have been arrested for or charged with a criminal offense, the best way to use social media while your case is pending is to avoid it at all costs. While it may be hard to stay away from your social media accounts, it is a significant sacrifice when you consider the potential consequences of posting something that may harm your case.