Research shows that as of October 2013, more than 500 million people use Facebook. The popular social media outlet allows users to post statuses, photos and share details regarding their personal life. While Facebook can be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, some users essentially turn their profiles into public diaries. A little over-sharing may not be a big deal for some, but when an individual makes incriminating posts on their Facebook page or other social media accounts, their Internet activity can be used as admissible evidence in the court of law.
How Your Internet Activity Can Hurt You
Whether you are in court for a criminal trial, divorce proceeding or another legal matter, your posts on various social networking websites can be used as evidence against you in the court of law. This is becoming increasingly problematic for individuals who post personal details on their public Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, among others. Because users often become comfortable posting intimate details about their lives on social media, it can be easy to forget that anyone can see this information. Furthermore, many judges nationwide are ruling that police can use social media accounts and that it is not an invasion of privacy. Unfortunately, this information can come back to haunt individuals in a number of ways, such as the following:
- Alcohol Usage: With the introduction of Facebook and other social media networking sites, many colleges and universities are looking to the web to investigate underage drinking violations as well as “Dry Campus” policies. Through photographs of illicit drinking behavior and the like, underage drinkers may be accused, tried, and convicted for their acts thanks to a Facebook photo.
- Cyber-Bullying: Police have used Facebook and other social media networking sites to stop cyber-bullies. Through analyzing provoking Facebook comments and other bullying tactics, prosecutors have successfully convicted cyber-bullies with online evidence.
- Character Profiling: Although there have been disputes about social media use to character profile in the courtroom, Facebook and other social media sites have been used as evidence when profiling an individual involved in a case.
When to Hire an Attorney
Whether or not social media is being used against you, if you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, contact an attorney right away. The legal team at the Khonsari Law Group can guide you through this difficult time and help to defend your rights. To learn how the Khonsari Law Group can help you, contact us today or visit us to get a free consultation.