This past decade has brought with it a new age of social media usage to stay connected. From Instagram to Snapchat to Facebook and TikTok, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, please step back and consider how your social media presence might impact your personal life, especially when it comes to domestic violence cases.
Social media is keeping many of us tethered to each other right now. We can’t visit as much, and we’re not seeing family and friends on anything but Zoom. However, with this comes the risk of what social media can expose about you and your life and how that information could be used against you in a court of law.
AN ELECTRONIC WITNESS
Yes, we know you can make a social media profile private. No, that doesn’t matter. You know why? Because “private” isn’t private. It is common for social media platforms to comply with law enforcement agencies in investigations, making it very easy for them to get your “private” information quickly. Not only do they usually comply, but a search warrant also is not even necessary most times. Because of this, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent the authorities from looking at your pages.
WHAT INFORMATION COULD THEY GET?
There are several ways your social media posts could give incriminating information about you in a domestic violence case. These include:
- Giving out new/unknown evidence of the crime
- Confirming/negating statements you have made to law enforcement
- Filling in gaps in information
- Identifying other suspects, witnesses, or victims
- Confirming your whereabouts at the time of the event
Additionally, your pictures, videos, messages, or other social media posts could contain incriminating information that could easily be used against you in your domestic violence case.
EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION THAT CAN BE FOUND ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Pretend you’ve been charged with domestic violence, and it was filed by your significant other. They said you were together at a festival when the abuse happened. You refute this, but there’s a photo on Instagram of you two at the festival on the night in question. Unfortunately, this proves that they’re at least partially telling the truth, and it can be used against you in court.
Following your domestic violence charges, it’s possible that you lashed out. Maybe you made a post on your partner’s Facebook page that was full of anger and rage. Or perhaps you posted some obvious statements about it on your Instagram story. Yes, it’s normal to be upset at that moment, but it’s also easy to twist those actions to make you appear in a negative light. We recommend that you stay quiet until things have settled down.
Even outside of social media, you need to be mindful of other electronic mediums.
Email messages that you exchange are also discoverable by a search warrant. These messages, even if deleted, can be pulled from cloud archives and used against you.
All the details you have on your phone can also be recovered. Each time you use your device, logs are created concerning the use and content on your phone. Records of app use and other data can be extracted from your phone and asserted at trial against you. These palm-sized computers can cause legal consequences you may not realize exist.
HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY
If you’re looking at domestic violence charges, you’re already under a microscope. Don’t make it worse by being reckless with your social media posts. Contact McCririe Law today to see how we can help.