There are billions of people worldwide who regularly use social media platforms daily. Users are constantly updating their social media pages and profiles with new pictures and relevant stories of their lives. According to a Nielsen Total Audience Report from earlier this year, the average American spends nearly eleven hours a day interacting with some type of media. Since the time that social media started to become commonplace, criminal defense lawyers have found themselves battling in courts everywhere to determine what is sacred to the social media user and what is admissible as evidence against them in a court of law.
Over the years, more and more criminal cases have involved some sort of social media evidence being presented by both sides in order to prove guilt or to show innocence of the accused. Every American who uses social media needs to understand that what they post on social media can and will be used against them in court if possible. Legal protections are limited in this day and age in reference to social media privacy. A criminal defense lawyer can not always stop the prosecution from using photos and posts that clearly indicate some guilt on the part of the defendant, even if the defendant had the strictest of privacy settings on their accounts.
For instance, in a case involving a young man being accused of gang activity, his Facebook settings were set to allow only certain people to see his photos. However, during the trial, the prosecution called one of his friends as a witness, and when they did, they gained access to all the photos and posts that had been shared with that friend, including photos of the young man throwing up gang signs. Even though the young man had tried to protect himself through private social media settings, his criminal defense lawyer couldn’t do much to help him once the prosecution gained access to the incriminating photos shared on someone else’s account.
The criminal defense lawyers at Beaver Law Firm want you to understand fully that protecting yourself on social media by watching what information or photos you post can make the difference between a guilty verdict in your future. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer, contact Beaver Law Firm today at (919) 578-8551.