Social media has become an integral part of our society and our daily lives. However, it’s important to understand that what you post on social media may not be as private as you think, especially if you have been charged with a crime or you’re being investigated by police on criminal charges.
Whether or not criminal suspects know it, what they say and do on social media is often being watched by law enforcement. And all it takes is a simple search of social media and other sites to find the information they need to solve a case.
In recent years, more criminals have been caught because of their social media activity. Most recently, a social media post helped police catch three suspects in North Carolina who reportedly mutilated a cat. The three suspects not only posted the pictures of the act on Instagram, a post profiling the perpetrators went viral on several social media platforms.
Digital tools police use
According to a 2016 survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Urban Institute found that 76 percent of law enforcement officers find clues on social media. Roughly 72 percent use it to examine public sentiment, while 70 percent use it to gather information on suspects.
In light of the Cambridge Analytica incident regarding Facebook privacy, law enforcement agencies have found a new route using GeoFeedia to access data streams.
If you are a suspect in a crime, even if you know you’re innocent, police can use social media to:
- Obtain evidence based on your posts and comments
- Find incriminating photos and videos
- Determine your location before or after a crime
- Identify witnesses
Stay silent and consult with an attorney
If you are under investigation for a crime, you need to speak to an experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the better. Law enforcement may try to probe you or search for any incriminating clues they can use to charge you with a crime. That’s why it’s best to refrain from using social media and remain silent as much as possible.
Take your case seriously from the start. Contact Barclay Law LLC and find out what we can do for you.