We live in an increasingly digital world. From the cell phones in our hands, to the tablets we pour over in coffee shops, digital space is a place we live in daily. What is the implication for someone who is facing court though? Will social media posts and online profiles be dredged up during trial? Find out the answers here from your local criminal lawyer in Fort Collins. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients understand what lies ahead and to helping prepare a case for their defense.
The reality is that when you are facing your trial, you will be facing intense amounts of scrutiny in your life. Your personal information will be shared publicly, and even your social media platforms can be admitted into the court of law. The type of charge you are facing will determine whether or not your social media posts bear any weight in the case, and whether or not the judge considers them admissible and pertinent to the case. If you are facing any kind of criminal charge where your character plays a role in the direction of the final decision, you should be prepared for your social media to be used against you. This is especially true in child custody cases, drunk driving cases, and when facing drug charges.
IN WHAT WAYS WILL SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY A ROLE
When a case is being built against you, the prosecutor will look to paint you in a certain light, and that light will not be a flattering one. This means that if you have ever posted anything that could incriminate you, whether something outright illegal or simply activity that reflects poorly on your character, you need to let your criminal lawyer know immediately. Some examples of how social media might play a role are demonstrated in the following ways:
- Criminal Activity: It may seem like a no brainer, but abstain from ever posting proof of criminal activities online. There are numerous cases where the decision to post a photo while partaking in illegal drugs, or the bright idea to post a status bragging about the crime just committed, backfired for the defendant. These posts will absolutely be used in the court of law, and it will not look good when you are fighting a drug charge and a picture of you using illegal drugs is brought up in court. If you have ever posted anything incriminating, tell your criminal lawyer. Even if you delete the post later, it may still be accessible and it is important for your lawyer to know it once existed.
- Conflicting Reports: You may think that your posts online are completely innocent and could never incriminate you, but look closely at what you are posting. For example, if you are building a case after a DUI charge, you might start working hard to demonstrate how contrite you are and how serious you are about ensuring you never commit the crime again to aid in a lower sentence. Maybe you are putting in time doing community service, going to alcohol and drug rehab classes, and creating a superb looking character for your upcoming trial. Your social media posts could undo all the hard work you have done in one fell swoop. Perhaps you decide to have a crazy night out with your friends, and you and your buddies pose in a sports car, beers in the air. Do you think the judge and jury will believe in your changed heart if that social media post is pulled up? It is unlikely they will. Be extremely careful about everything you post while you wait for your court date.
- Character Flaws: If you are trying to prove that you are an upstanding citizen to help win a case (this is a very common component for custody battles), make sure your social media is in line with your brilliant character. If you post photos of yourself acting irresponsibly in any way, the court might be less likely to rule in your favor. In order to be admissible in the court of law, the posts do have to be correlated to the case. However, this is not always that difficult to prove. Let’s say you are fighting for custody of your child, and on a Friday night when you were supposed to be spending quality time with your kid you instead post photos of you and your friends at the bar, the court will not look favorably upon your case. Be aware that your character is on the line.
These are simply a few of the many ways social media might be brought up against you in court. If you have any questions about your social media activity and the role it might play in your upcoming trial, reach out to our team for more help.
CHOOSING A CRIMINAL LAWYER
Choosing a criminal lawyer in Fort Collins can be a nerve wracking event. You know that you are about to face an important court date, and you want to have someone on your side you can trust. Don’t face the court system alone. Contact our team and we will demonstrate to you why our team is the one you can trust. We work hard for our clients and we treat each case with the attention to detail it deserves. Talk to us today about the charges you are facing and let us start fighting for you!