Publishing questionable posts on social media may seem harmless, as you believe that only your “friends” and “followers” will see it. However, in this day and age, posts can quickly go viral and law enforcement officers may end up reading a post you do not necessarily want them to see.
For example, a man in Florida recently published a question on Twitter asking “who has weed” in Sarasota. Well, the police department in Sarasota came across the tweet and tweeted back, suggesting the man stop into their headquarters to discuss the matter with a narcotics detective. While the tweet from police had a humorous tone, this situation is still an important indication of how easily law enforcement may see your social media posts about drugs or any other criminal activity. In some cases, a social media post could lead to a warrant, an arrest, and/or criminal charges against you.
Social media can also be used show motivations behind crimes or can serve as an aggravating factor for sentencing. For example, one young woman received a significantly harsh sentence after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. The 22-year-old had tweeted “2 Drunk 2 Care” right before she drove and killed two other young women. The judge used her tweet and justification to sentence her to 24 years in state prison.
The above is only one example of the powerful role social media can play in a criminal case. In response to the tweet about drugs, the Sarasota police reported that they regularly monitor many social media sites for signs of criminal activity, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. In addition, if you have already been arrested, prosecutors can examine social media pages to find any information that may be used as evidence against you in your case. Posts they look for can involve drugs, prostitution, solicitation, violent threats, stalking, DUI, and more. Overall, social media can be very important in a criminal case, so you should always think very carefully before publishing anything questionable.
Call a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer for More Information
If social media posts or any other circumstances lead to an arrest or charges issued against you, your first call should be to David C. Barry, Attorney at Law in New Jersey. With an extensive background defending against a wide array of charges, our criminal defense team knows how to build a strong legal defense against your charges, so please call to discuss how we can help you today (732) 238-8686.