Over the last decade or so, sharing life’s triumphs, challenges and even mundane moments on social media has become second nature for many people. However, if you are facing felony charges, this instinct to share or even simply browse these platforms can result in serious, unintended consequences.
It can be notoriously difficult to detach from social media and electronic communication generally. However, when the stakes of your criminal situation involve a potential felony conviction, it is far better to be safe than sorry.
Why social media activity could negatively impact your case
When you were arrested, you were almost certainly told that “anything you say can and will be used against you.” That logistical challenge didn’t stop being true once you were released from custody. While it’s also critically important to watch what you text and email, it’s unlikely that these communications can be accessed by prosecutors without a warrant. However, your social media accounts are maintained on public platforms, which means that they’re “fair game” for scrolling.
Unfortunately, even if your privacy settings are maximized, your privacy on these public accounts is not ensured. And, because even seemingly innocent posts, likes or shares can be misconstrued, you may end up potentially providing the prosecution with ammunition even if you don’t mean to and even if you delete your activity.
Felonies are potentially punishable by considerable time in prison. Therefore, you’ll not only want to seek informed legal guidance after being charged with a felony, you’ll want to thoughtfully rein in your “everyday” behavior in ways that will help to protect your interests as your case evolves. In this way, staying off social media now could help you get a favorable outcome to your circumstances later.