Is our legal system adjusting to social media? With the heightened use of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a number of other applications, it has become more common for ‘site postings’ to be used as evidence in legal settings. The internet and social media are now a part of our criminal justice system, and courts around the country are updating their polices on using social media in the courtroom. Attorneys often consider how a client’s social media posts/posting could potentially affect their case when litigation is anticipated or pending. We would like to touch on the topic of social media here; however, the best course of action, if you’re concerned, is to contact our office and schedule a meeting with a lawyer at Deputy & Mizell
How could my social media posts be used against me?
As the defendant, the other side will probably investigate the public information on your personal social media accounts. Their hope is to find evidence that will defame your credibility and truthfulness. Depending on the nature of your past posts, they will look to uncover evidence aimed to attack or undermine your credibility. Your attorney may ask to review your social media postings and share advice on any material relevant to your case.
Should I discontinue the use of my social media accounts?
If you are involved in a dispute, it may be a wise decision to suspend your social media
a platforms, for now. Changing the security and/or privacy settings could be an option if it is not a violation of any court orders already pronounced. Also, if family members and friends are aware of your personal legal situation, it is a good rule of thumb to review their posts and photos about you before they are published.
What types of cases might my social media information be admissible as evidence?
If you are in the process of a litigious and contentious divorce, child custody or child support matter pending in court, your social media posts may be admissible as evidence against you in court, if they were not obtained by illegal or deceitful methods. If you are aware of a family dispute, it may be wise to avoid social media for the time being as well. If you find that giving up your social media presence is not an option, it is wise to use caution when posting; consider the implications your statements and or photos could have if they were to be submitted as evidence in a courtroom. There are generally options to adjust privacy settings on media applications, which gives you control over your post(s) visibility. If you are posting publicly, others can gather your information with ease and it may come as a complete surprise when that information is constructed or misconstructed to use against you.
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