If you are among the many people across Texas currently facing some type of criminal charge, you may be doing everything you can to plead your case and, ideally, avoid criminal penalties. Part of this involves making every effort to avoid landing in additional trouble while you await your day in court, so you may be wise to avoid situations where you know you might find it.
Another important step you may want to take as you await your court date is to abstain from using social media, and you may also want to consider eliminating any social media profiles you have in their entirety. Why?
How authorities use social media to build cases
Increasingly, law enforcement agencies across Texas and the nation are relying on social media to help them solve crimes and build cases against the accused. From posting pictures of offenders in hopes the public can help identify them to using online profiles to track an offender’s geographical whereabouts, authorities are recognizing that social media is often a gold mine of information, and that can mean trouble for you.
In some cases, such as where law enforcement officials have active warrants, authorities can work with certain social media platforms to gain access to user profiles and collect data to use against them. In the absence of a warrant, authorities may still visit your social media profiles with the hope of gathering evidence they can use against you, which may include photographs, check-ins and the like. For example, if authorities believe you used a gun in a particular crime and you claim you have never shot one before, your social media profiles best not have any photographic evidence that suggests otherwise.
In summary, you can expect that anything you post online can and will be used against you. Before posting anything to social media, ask yourself if you would want your post coming back up during your day in court.