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How Using Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case


Most of us use social media nowadays and might even have profiles on various social media platforms. While this is a great way to expand your social network, remain in contact with friends and family, or even to promote yourself if you own a business, engaging in social media can have detrimental effects on your life if you continue to use it while you are in the midst of a criminal case. The fact is that when it comes to a criminal investigation, remaining active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other number of available platforms can ultimately jeopardize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Social media can be used against you by law enforcement for the following reasons:

  • To find new evidence to build a stronger case against you
  • Uncover any incriminating posts, including status updates, photographs, and check-ins in order to piece together a more accurate timeline of events
  • To determine a suspects whereabouts when the crime was committed
  • To locate other suspects or witnesses
  • To validate an alibi

Below are some of the posts that can potentially have a negative impact on your case:

  • Photos: Many of us post photos online, but if you do this while in the middle of a criminal investigation, these might be incriminating evidence. Even if you were not the person who posted the photos, you might get tagged in a photo that a friend of yours chooses to post. However they end up on social media, these pictures can be used against you as evidence. Do not post any photos during this time and ask your friends and family to respect your privacy and to not share any pictures of you or to tag you in any posts until your case is resolved.
  • Posts: Likewise, anything you post to social media can also be used against you. If you wrote a post about how much you wish you could harm a certain individual and you are later involved in a physical fight with that person, resulting in your arrest, your post might make the fight look pre-meditated.
  • Check-ins: Various social media platforms allow us to check-in to specific locations and, if you are involved in a criminal case, this would be a great way for law enforcement to collect evidence in regards to your whereabouts at the time the criminal act was committed. It can be used to show that you were either at or near the area where the crime occurred, which will ultimately strengthen the prosecution’s case against you.

Generally, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when you are in the middle of a criminal investigation is to hold off on using social media. Posts you might think appear to be completely innocuous could irreparably damage your case. However, if you are still tempted to use, make sure you consult with your attorney first for advice.

Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago

If you are currently facing criminal charges, you need a skilled legal advocate on your side to fight on your behalf to ensure your rights are not trampled on and you have the best possible chance of securing a favorable outcome. At the Law Office of Steven Fine, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is backed by over two decades of legal experience and a proven track record of success.

Get started on your case today and contact our law office at (312) 436-0638 to request a free initial case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to take your call!