Social Media in Harris County Sex Crimes CasesPublished: Sep 06, 2019 in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
Like it or not, social media is part of our lives. We post constantly, and update our feeds with our lives’ details, from trivial moments to major events. Unfortunately, your social media feeds can be used against you if you are charged with a crime and are particularly damaging in a sex crime case. Almost as soon as an accusation is made, you can expect law enforcement to begin combing through your social media history to find evidence against you. Even innocent, beguine posts may be interpreted unfairly to make you look guilty.
Houston criminal defense attorney Ned Barnett provides experienced and aggressive legal representation to people accused of sex crimes in Harris County. With over 30 years of experience, he knows how to challenge the prosecution’s case and get you a fair result.
Your Public Social Media Posts
The police and prosecution can review and copy any social media feeds that are public without a warrant. If you have already been charged, they have probably already searched your social media profiles. You may be thinking that you don’t have anything to worry about, but prosecutors can be extremely creative in using social media to prove their case.
Here are some ways prosecutors may use your social media against you:
- Misconstruing jokes or facetious comments as evidence of intent or motive.
- Using geotagged posts to show that you were in the same place at the same time as the victim.
- Taking messages that you may have exchanged with the victim out of context to support the charges.
- Using comments from other friends to establish that you engaged in similar behavior in the past.
The bottom line is that law enforcement can use almost anything you post on social media against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself by keeping your social media posts in the proper context.
“Good thing my social media feeds are set to private!”
You may be breathing a sigh of relief right now since your social media feeds are set to private. Unfortunately, the police can review and copy even private social media posts without a warrant if it was shared with the victim. Keep in mind that you may not have shared it with them directly – you likely shared it with a mutual friend who then shared it with the victim.
That said, law enforcement can obtain a warrant to review your social media profiles. However, the prosecutor will have to demonstrate that they have probable cause to justify the warrant, which will ultimately have to be approved by a judge. This prevents them from going on a “fishing expedition” to find anything they can to help their case.
Should You Delete Your Social Media Posts?
Once you post something on the internet, you lose control over it. The alleged victim may have already screen-captured your posts and sent them to the prosecutor or police. So, deleting your posts or your entire profile can suddenly appear suspicious to the people who are already investigating you.
That said, it’s probably best to stay off of social media while your charges are pending. In particular, you should absolutely not post anything about the charges, your trial, or the victim. In fact, the best thing you can do is take down your social media profiles – they won’t be deleted, and it will prevent people from posting embarrassing comments on your feed.
Call The Law Offices of Ned Barnett
Houston criminal defense lawyer Ned Barnett knows how prosecutors can use social media against you. He also knows how to use your social media feeds to build a successful defense. Don’t let the prosecution build a one-sided story that supports their case – Ned Barnett will help you tell your side.