How Social Media Can Affect a Criminal Investigation

Nearly every person has a profile on a popular social media site. However, it is important to note that the details shared on these websites may be public information. From posts on Facebook to images on Snapchat, the things a person posts on these sites can be used as evidence in criminal investigations. Even the popular video sharing site YouTube, for example, is often used to screen criminal behavior that has been recorded by bystanders or uploaded by the accused themselves.

Internet Posts Are Not Really Confidential

Even with privacy settings set so that only a person's approved friends can see what they post, nothing that is put on social media is ever truly hidden. Website archives can keep records of comments and pictures long after they have been deleted from view. If anything was ever posted that may incriminate someone in a crime, a basic search by law enforcement can find this information to be used in court.

Since social media is so popular, law enforcement have developed software programs that can help them keep track of evidence online and keep their eyes on suspects. Your Miranda Rights will not apply to the internet, and everything you say and do can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Social media can further be used to:

  • Discover new evidence to assist a case
  • Find incriminating statements or pictures posted by a criminal suspect
  • Show what a suspect was doing before they committed a crime
  • Find suspects or witnesses
  • Confirm alibis
  • Develop connections

If someone is under investigation, it is recommended that they refrain from using social media until their trial is complete. Posting any commentary or details about the case can be used against the defendant in court, even if it seems completely harmless.

Are you or a loved one up on criminal charges in California? Contact Lessem & Newstat, Attorneys at Law, LLC for high-quality defense against the charges that have been leveled at you.