For many people in the Wilmington area, posting all their thoughts and actions on social media is the norm. You may enjoy sharing your thoughts and activities on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social media outlets for support, to make new friends and interact with individuals all over the world. But you should keep in mind that what you post online can become evidence if you commit a crime.
There are different types of social media crimes that you may unknowingly commit while on the internet, such as stalking, cyberbullying, fraudulent transactions and hacking. Here is a brief overview of how social media can impact your situation.
Social media evidence is admissible in court
The law allows prosecutors and attorneys to use every available means to represent and investigate crimes. This includes the use of social media. The information obtained from your social media accounts do not have to highlight you are committing a crime. It can, however, help the prosecutor strengthen the case against you and paint your character in an unfavorable light to the courts. For example, if you are accused of drinking and driving and you regularly post videos and photos of you drinking or partying with friends, the information you share online could become evidence and have a negative impact on your case.
Online activity is recoverable and accessible
Do not assume you are safe because you are posting to social media from a computer or phone. Law enforcement has ways of tracking down people suspected of committing crimes. Also, deleting your activity and restricting access to your accounts and pages is not enough to keep your information from being subpoenaed. Deleted information is often recoverable.
The criminal justice system is not very lenient, even to first-time offenders. The easiest way for you to avoid criminal charges is to be mindful of what you say, do and share online and in person.