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Don’t Help Convict Yourself via Social Media

At some point we have all been told to be “careful of what you post online.” It’s easy to brush this advice off and to continue posting anything and everything that comes to mind, but I wouldn’t suggest it.

This is not to say that you should never post on social media, but you must try to be aware of the possible consequences of your actions. Generally, when someone tells you to be “careful of what you post online” they are concerned about potential future employers seeing your drunken collages from college. However, that is not what I am talking about today.

Though it is arguably frowned upon to have massive amounts of party photos, such photos are unlikely to result in a conviction of any sorts, unless, of course, you happen to be underage at the time. I am more concerned about photos or videos that are certainly criminal in nature: such as photos of unregistered firearms, or illegal drugs.

Having gone through thousands and thousands of documents relating to criminal discovery in both State as well as Federal Court, I can tell you that social media pops up more often than not. These photos and videos are almost always used as evidence of the Defendant’s guilt, but this problem could easily be avoided. All it takes is one simple question prior to posting something questionable online: is the subject matter or anything relating to this photo or video illegal? If yes, don’t post it. If you don’t know, don’t post it. (Don’t end up like this guy).

This is not to say that if you are in fact doing something illegal, that the lack of social media evidence will result in you going free, but it certainly would help. The less evidence there is against a criminal defendant, the easier it is for a Criminal Defense attorney to present a defense. Help yourself as well as your attorney by protecting against self-incrimination.

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