In the age of social media and viral videos, it can be easy to find yourself in a messy situation after sharing information about an arrest or an incriminating event. Many social media users do not understand that content is not permanently deleted from their online history or on their social media profiles (even on Snapchat!). Networks can actually retrieve deleted information and provide it to law enforcement in a criminal investigation.
Here are some social media guidelines to consider following an arrest.
Simply DO NOT FILM incriminating (or potentially incriminating) things
We seem to use our phones for everything these days. If I had kept track of the number or percentage of my cases (especially juvenile) where the entire offense is RECORDED by the client and then used against them by law enforcement, it would be a very large figure. A simple way to avoid this is to stop recording!
Do not share details about your arrest or charges
You should not share or post any information about you, your arrest, or others involved. It is in your best interest to keep the names of police officers offline as well.
Avoid social media activity
Likes, shares, comments, and check-ins might be more telling than you think. Play it safe. If you are facing criminal charges, this is not a time to be active on social media!
Do not delete old content
Deleting old status updates, messages, videos, and other content off your social media profile after an arrest may raise some red flags. Doing this could be seen as an effort to conceal or dispose of evidence – talk to a lawyer!
If you are facing criminal charges (or fear that you will), it is never a good idea to post about it online. Chances are, these details will likely leak out beyond your social circle and could put you in a much worse situation down the road. Follow the guidelines above and make sure you have legal representation. If you have questions, give us a call at (805) 966-4173.
DISCLAIMER: This section offers a series of criminal law and personal injury related bulletins prepared by the attorneys at Hayes Law Offices. This is not exhaustive, nor is it legal advice. You should discuss your particular situation with us or with your own attorney. Our legal representation is only undertaken through a contract and not by the distribution or use of this information.