Earlier this year, a teenager in Pennsylvania was charged with murder after he sent a picture of him posing with the body through the app Snapchat. Before the picture disappeared, the recipient screenshot it and turned it into authorities. While this is an extreme example, more and more people are being incriminated for their posts to social media. Tightening privacy settings are not enough to elude the law enforcement and penalties. A study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police showed that 86% of all law enforcement agencies use social media to collect evidence during criminal investigations.
Police will create fake profiles, use location tags, and third parties to gather information for your case. Pictures of you drinking hours before an OVI/DUI arrest or photos with previously arrested gang members can get you in trouble. When you having an open criminal investigation, it is important to take extra precautions such as:
- Never post a photo that implies future illegal activity
- Making privacy settings as strict as possible
- Keep your friends list as short as possible
- Turn off automatic check-ins
- Just because something is “private”, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way
- Never post anything you wouldn’t want a judge or jury to see
If you have been accused of a crime, social media can be your best argument or incriminating evidence. With pending charges, always think twice before posting. It takes seconds to leave a footprint online so if you’re wondering whether to post something, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you would like to set up an in-person consultation, contact DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.