Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney
Facebook is not your friend
Social media sites have boomed over the last several years. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, or the next up and coming social media site, these sites are a great way to keep up with friends and to log your activities. I am very active on Facebook and am not afraid to admit it, but you must be smart about what you post. This advice applies to all areas of law, but I will focus on criminal law and family law.
In a criminal law context, posting illegal activities on any social media site is a prosecutor’s dream. More than one person has been arrested and convicted based on their social media postings. Michael Phelps did not get convicted of a crime because of social media, but it was a bong hit heard around the world. That is what a prosecutor is looking for. Pictures of drugs, either using drugs or of drug paraphernalia, posts about running away from the police, or any type of post in between are all fair game for the police to use against you. If you believe that the police and prosecutors do not have or cannot get access to your Facebook profile, you are mistaken.
In a family law context, remember that your ex, soon to be ex, mutual friends, and family can all see your posts. These can all be brought up in court and used against you. You do not have to stay off of social media, but if you are in the middle of a divorce and getting a babysitter for your children so you can go out and get drunk with your friends, do not be posting drunk selfies at 2am.
The best way to avoid any problems is to not post anything that could be used against you in court. If you think a post could be taken in a bad light, then do not post it. But if you feel that you HAVE to post something to social media, make sure that you check on your settings. In the most recent iteration of Facebook I noticed that my settings were changed to “global.” This is the easiest way for everyone to get access to your posts because there are no restrictions on who can see your posts.