How Social Media Impacts Your Los Angeles, CA Criminal Case

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Social media is a big part of most people’s modern lives. It’s not much of a surprise to learn that social media evidence often ends up part of criminal cases.

Everything from your posts to your friends list can be used against you. Even your private messages can be obtained and brought up in court. 

How the Prosecution Can Use Social Media Accounts

The prosecution definitely has the upper hand when it comes to using social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants will give up account information with a warrant or a court order, but won’t give everything to defense lawyers. 

They look for all sorts of information:

  • Whether you’ve confessed to the crime on your social accounts
  • Whether you wore something in a photo that was later found at a crime scene
  • Whether you made threats to other users on social media accounts
  • In gang-related cases, your friends list can be used against you
  • Private messages that you’ve sent can be used to prop up the prosecution’s case
  • Location data
  • Mental state evidence
  • Evidence that certain cybercrimes have been committed, such as doxing or harassment

Some people actually have posted photos of the violent murders they’ve committed on social media, or have written out full confessions on Reddit. Obviously these sorts of posts can easily be used against you. 

How the Defense Can Use Social Media Accounts

Usually it’s useful to turn your social media accounts over to your defense lawyers. That lets us see the same things the prosecution can see, and lets us either counter damning evidence or scour your accounts for exculpatory evidence. 

The California Supreme Court has recently ruled that social media companies must at least turn over “public” content to lawyers, that is, any of the type of content that might be published on your “wall” or “feed.”  This does not cover private messaging, which still creates some handicaps for the defense unless you yourself provide the information. It also does not include content marked private, or sent only to a discrete group of users. 

Still, this also means we can get the public data of other relevant people of interest to a case and use it, even if you don’t grant us access.

What You Need to Do

Obviously you should never ever post any information about any crime you have been involved in. The moment you think you may be under investigation for a crime or that you’ve done something which could result in criminal charges, your best bet is to go silent on social media altogether.

Provide your defense attorneys with all your user names and passwords. You can change them after your case is brought to a successful conclusion. Let us see what the prosecution might be seeing about you, and let us look for exculpatory conversations, photos, or posts.

See also:

Can the LAPD Force You To Unlock Your Phone?

Can the Police Get a Geofencing Warrant in Los Angeles, CA? 

What to Do If the Police Are at the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

How Social Media Impacts Your Los Angeles, CA Criminal Case

inne-rpage-seperator

Social media is a big part of most people’s modern lives. It’s not much of a surprise to learn that social media evidence often ends up part of criminal cases.

Everything from your posts to your friends list can be used against you. Even your private messages can be obtained and brought up in court. 

How the Prosecution Can Use Social Media Accounts

The prosecution definitely has the upper hand when it comes to using social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants will give up account information with a warrant or a court order, but won’t give everything to defense lawyers. 

They look for all sorts of information:

  • Whether you’ve confessed to the crime on your social accounts
  • Whether you wore something in a photo that was later found at a crime scene
  • Whether you made threats to other users on social media accounts
  • In gang-related cases, your friends list can be used against you
  • Private messages that you’ve sent can be used to prop up the prosecution’s case
  • Location data
  • Mental state evidence
  • Evidence that certain cybercrimes have been committed, such as doxing or harassment

Some people actually have posted photos of the violent murders they’ve committed on social media, or have written out full confessions on Reddit. Obviously these sorts of posts can easily be used against you. 

How the Defense Can Use Social Media Accounts

Usually it’s useful to turn your social media accounts over to your defense lawyers. That lets us see the same things the prosecution can see, and lets us either counter damning evidence or scour your accounts for exculpatory evidence. 

The California Supreme Court has recently ruled that social media companies must at least turn over “public” content to lawyers, that is, any of the type of content that might be published on your “wall” or “feed.”  This does not cover private messaging, which still creates some handicaps for the defense unless you yourself provide the information. It also does not include content marked private, or sent only to a discrete group of users. 

Still, this also means we can get the public data of other relevant people of interest to a case and use it, even if you don’t grant us access.

What You Need to Do

Obviously you should never ever post any information about any crime you have been involved in. The moment you think you may be under investigation for a crime or that you’ve done something which could result in criminal charges, your best bet is to go silent on social media altogether.

Provide your defense attorneys with all your user names and passwords. You can change them after your case is brought to a successful conclusion. Let us see what the prosecution might be seeing about you, and let us look for exculpatory conversations, photos, or posts.

See also:

Can the LAPD Force You To Unlock Your Phone?

Can the Police Get a Geofencing Warrant in Los Angeles, CA? 

What to Do If the Police Are at the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

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