What you say can and will be used against you. We’ve all heard that phrase, and yet when it comes to social media, most forget that and, shall we say- overshare at times. Now-a-days everyone wants to share with their family and friends every aspect of their lives, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and Twitter dominate people’s smart phone and attention while they post sayings, pictures and memes of where they are going what they are doing, and even what they are eating. What most don’t realize is that its not only their friends and family that can see these posts, it’s the police, and the District Attorney’s Office as well, even if you think your posts are “private”. These posts risk becoming social media evidence.
Now even if you don’t go posting pictures of crimes you committed (sounds crazy but its happened), your social media posts can be used to establish motive, or corroborate a theory of propensity. Posting a picture of yourself flashing “gang signs” could be used to demonstrate a connection to a particular gang, a posting about a night out partying with your friends immediately before a DWI charge, or negative post about what a horrible person your ex is right before their tires are slashed, all can be brought into light to help strengthen the State’s case or as evidence against you in criminal charges.
Judges are supposed to consider whether evidence is authentic, reliable and relevant, but social media posts by the defendant themselves are often viewed as almost a confession of sorts and judges tend to admit all posts if they admit one.
If your own words are being used against you, you absolutely need an attorney on your side that is familiar with suppression and evidence rules and is a seasoned trial attorney. If you have been charged with a crime in the County of Onondaga, and are unsure of what will come next or have questions about evidence, call me. I offer a free initial consultation 315-474-5533, or make an appointment online HERE.