Social media sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, and Instagram are great for personal expression as well as connecting with friends and family. However, it is essential to remember that nothing you post online is private. Investigators may dig through your social media history to confirm an alibi or look for incriminating information if you are under investigation for a crime. If you are not careful, your social media accounts could be used as evidence against you in court.
If you have been charged or suspect you are under investigation for a crime in Louisiana, a highly-qualified criminal defense attorney can help you fight for your rights. Your lawyer will investigate your case and review your social media activity so that they can craft the best possible defense for your unique situation.
4 Ways Social Media Can Impact Your Louisiana Criminal Case
After being charged or questioned about a crime in Louisiana, it is in your best interest to stop all posting on social media and contact a lawyer. Your lawyer will comb through every detail of your social media profiles to advise you on your options moving forward. Below are four ways your social media can impact your Louisiana criminal case.
Photos and Video
Any photos or videos you post or are tagged in could be used as evidence against you during your case. For example, if you are arrested and charged with a DUI, and you posted photos of you and your friends drinking at a bar an hour earlier, the post could be used as evidence that you were intoxicated before getting behind the wheel. Additionally, if you post a video showing someone being physically harmed or killed, you could face up to a $2,000 fine and eight years in prison, even if you were not committing the crime.
Check-Ins and Location Tracking
Many social media platforms allow you to select a location when posting content. If you have your location services turned on, the site or app may automatically do this. If you tell the police you were in one location, but your social media says you were somewhere else at the same time, you could be contradicting your alibi. In some worst-case scenarios, the location on a post could place you at the crime scene.
Unfortunately, private messages on social media are not truly private. The Stored Communications Act allows social media companies to provide user information and communications to third parties, including law enforcement. An argument with a friend or a discussion of plans could be taken out of context and used against you in your case. A good rule of thumb for sending messages through social media is to assume they can be seen by others and choose your words accordingly.
Posts Indicating Your Mental State
If you discover you are under investigation for a crime, your emotions may be running high. However, it is critical to avoid posting on social media to vent your stress and frustration. Anything you post about your situation could be taken out of context and used as evidence against you. Even a joke could be taken entirely out of context. For example, if you jokingly post that you will slap the next customer who asks to speak to the manager at your job, the prosecution could use that to assert that you have a violent nature.
Partner With a First-Class Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are under investigation for a crime in Louisiana, it is never too early to start preparing your defense. Attorney Eric G. Johnson of the John D. and Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is an expert in Louisiana law and is dedicated to protecting his client’s rights. Attorney Johnson is a fierce advocate for the accused and has a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for his clients in Louisiana. To learn more about how he can help you and schedule a free consultation, call us today at (318) 377-1555 on complete our contact form.