It may feel like second nature to share what’s going on in your life with family and friends on social media. But if you’re in the midst of an ongoing domestic violence case, it would be smart to exercise great caution. What you post on social media can provide the opposing counsel’s research team with fodder that can be used against you. Far too often, individuals ruin their chances of fighting their domestic violence charges because of what they post on their social media accounts.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, get in touch with a qualified West Palm Beach domestic violence attorney who can provide you with experienced guidance at every stage of the legal process and ensure that you avoid some of the most common social media pitfalls that often entrap defendants who don’t know any better. In general, as the technology used on social media platforms continues to develop, it becomes increasingly important to think before you post.
How Social Media Can Affect Your Domestic Violence Case in West Palm Beach
Social media is now ingrained in the very fabric of society. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter being household names, it’s important to understand the power of social media, especially as it relates to domestic violence charges.
By and large, it’s important to exercise restraint while in the middle of an ongoing criminal investigation. What you post on social media can negatively impact your case and may be used against you in court. Here are some of the ways social media could impact your pending domestic violence case:
Photos That Contradict Your Testimony
Whether you have incriminating images on your social media accounts or have been included in incriminating photos on someone else’s account, photographs on social media can be used against you.
For example, if you claim that you haven’t seen your significant other in months but a post on social media from a week ago shows you posing with them, your chances of fighting your charges may dwindle. The opposing counsel’s team may scour your social media posts for any photos that could be portrayed as inconsistent.
Text Posts That Contradict Your Testimony
It’s generally understood that you should never post anything about harming another person, even hypothetically, especially while undergoing a domestic violence investigation. Doing so could completely ruin your chances of fighting your charges and will solidify you as the aggressor, which could lead to a conviction.
Check-Ins on Social Media
Check-ins at inconsistent locations on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites can place you in areas that oppose your own statements.
Comments from Friends and Family
While you may be superbly careful with what you post, if Aunt Susan publicly comments something contradictory, you’re also out of luck. In general, most attorneys advise their clients to stay off social media while their case is still pending. It may be in your best interest to monitor your account to make sure well-meaning friends and family don’t mention you in their posts.
Can Your Social Media Account Be Used Against You If Your Account Is Private?
If the opposing counsel’s research team can’t get ahold of your posts, they won’t be used against you in most situations. However, there are sneaky ways to navigate around these privacy settings. For example, if the other party knows any of your friends, they can ask those friends to give them the information voluntarily. Likewise, be wary of any new friend requests and followers. These could be from the research team trying to monitor you. Deleting your profile altogether may arouse suspicion, though, and the court can order you to reactivate your account if this is the case.
Additionally, the opposing counsel can sometimes ask you to produce printouts of your social media activity in the discovery phase of a lawsuit where parties exchange information to build their respective cases. Even though your private account isn’t public record, either party can petition the court if the other side doesn’t want to produce information that the requesting party believes is relevant.
Contact an Experienced West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing a domestic violence charge, speak with a trusted domestic violence defense attorney. For legal assistance, look no further than The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, who will help you avoid some of the most common social media missteps. Attorney Brian Gabriel is dedicated to protecting you against your accuser by investigating your case in detail and building a robust defense. He’s well-versed in domestic violence defense law and may help you avoid the consequences that stem from this offense.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has served the community of West Palm Beach for more than 30 years as a criminal defense attorney. He understands the complexities that are often involved in domestic violence cases and can help protect your reputation and future. After a domestic violence arrest, Attorney Brian Gabriel will fight for your rights. Call (561) 622-5575 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.