Criminal Cases & Social Media
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Texas, the police will gather as much as evidence as possible to build their case against you. While such evidence is available at the scene of the alleged crime, it can also be found online.
Since popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enable users to share their lives, locations, and other personal information publicly, law enforcement has been looking into suspects’ accounts to find incriminating evidence to be used at trial.
For example, if you are accused of assault, investigators may determine you’re the aggressor of the incident after discovering a Facebook post that appears to threaten the victim of violence. If you are accused of drunk driving, the police can prove their case by showing that you checked-in to a bar and pictures of you being intoxicated a few hours before your arrest.
Common ways criminal investigators use social media include:
- Determine a suspect’s whereabouts and find witnesses at the scene of the crime
- Find incriminating evidence to build a strong case
- Piece together a timeline of criminal activity based on status updates, images, and check-ins
- Verify a defendant’s alibi if they deny involvement in the alleged crime
Even if you customize your privacy settings from maximum protection from public viewing, investigators can still view your information through friends with less stringent security measures—either by tagging you in incriminating images or checking you into locations where the crime took place. In addition, social media platforms often cooperate with police investigations, providing them access to otherwise “private” profiles.
In the event you are under criminal investigation, it is wise to stay away from social media until your case is resolved. Do not delete certain posts or your entire account since this type of action could be viewed as destroying evidence, resulting in further legal trouble.
If you have been charged with a crime in Fort Worth, TX, contact The Clark Law Firm at (817) 435-4970 and schedule a free consultation today.