Responsible Social Media Use with Criminal Charges Pending
Use of social media has reached epidemic proportions. It seems as if everyone has one or more social media profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and they are not afraid to use these platforms and profiles to report to the world on every new development and experience in their lives. Take one gentleman, for example, who streamed five minutes of the nine-mile police chase. The video shows him cursing and drinking while operating a motor vehicle, all at a time when police were chasing him down Clearwater Beach.
Even “Responsible” Social Media Use Can Pose Problems
While many of us would not be so foolhardy or arrogant as the man referenced above, our own social media use can nonetheless pose problems for our criminal defense. Our posts on social media are similar in effect to making statements to law enforcement officers – what we say can and will be used against us. Avoid these common problems with social media usage:
- Do not discuss the facts of your case: When you tell “your side of the story” on social media, this can be characterized as your statement or your version of events. If your memory of the event were to change between the time you made your post and the time of trial, you may be forced to explain your various versions of events or risk being cast in a negative light.
- Do not threaten anyone: You may have legitimate gripes about being charged with a crime, but social media is not the place to air those disagreements and disillusionments. When you make an implicit or explicit threat against the judge, witnesses, prosecutor, and/or police officer involved in your case (“That prosecutor better watch her back,” for example), law enforcement can and will take your threat seriously – even if you were only “blowing off steam.” This can lead to additional criminal charges being filed against you.
- Beware of “legal advice” given by friends and family: When you post details about your case and charges, you are likely to begin receiving “advice” from friends and family who believe they know how you should handle your charges. While these tips are usually offered with the best of intentions, following them can severely damage your criminal case and lead to undesirable outcomes. You should speak with your Florida criminal defense lawyer before following any advice you receive from others who are not licensed Florida attorneys.
Speak with Roman & Roman Today for Help
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Florida, speak with Roman & Roman – your Clearwater and Tampa criminal defense law firm – as soon as possible. We can help guide you to success in your criminal case and can help keep you from making mistakes that will harm your chances of success. Contact our firm by calling 877-767-1032, or contact us using our online contact form today.