Take Steps To Prevent Social Media From Affecting Your Legal Case

Take Steps To Prevent Social Media From Affecting Your Legal Case

Millions of individuals use social media every day to get updates on celebrities, read up-to-date political news, stay in touch with friends and relatives, and much more. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sites are continually gaining more and more users who post social media videos, memes, photos, and updates frequently — often even daily.

Social Media and Your Legal Case

You may have heard the stories of employers who do not hire a potential employee once they review the things that he or she has posted on social media or elsewhere online. What most people do not consider, however, is how their social media posts and updates may affect the outcome of a pending legal case.

While the connection that comes from sharing on social media can be profound, it is also crucial to know what NOT to post on social media sites. Attorneys routinely scour social media accounts in an attempt to discover evidence they can use to support their client’s case. The posts you make on social media can provide new information, context, or a believable background story, even if it wasn’t meant for that purpose.

For instance, if you are suing another driver for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident, how you portray yourself on social media can hurt your case. Perhaps, in your claim, you assert that the injuries you suffered from the accident leave you unable to remain standing for an extended length of time. However, what if the other driver’s lawyer finds a Facebook video of you that your friend recently posted showing you jumping up and down and happily cheering at a football game? That lawyer can use your friend’s video to prove that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, negatively affecting the outcome of your pending suit.

5 Ways to Prevent Social Media from Affecting Your Case

Social media searches are very easy for anyone to conduct, especially when you share your page publicly. To avoid the potential for social media posts being used against you, you are well-advised to take specific action to prevent it. These tips on social media etiquette can help:

  1. Alter your privacy settings to ensure your page is as private as possible.
  2. Presume that each and every online communication can and will be entered as evidence at some point in time. 
  3. Do not post impulsively out of anger or other strong emotions.
  4. Decline new friend requests or follower requests from people you don’t know. Only accept a request if you know the person well.
  5. If you must discuss something related to your case, refrain from doing it on social media. It’s a good idea to take a social media break while your case is pending or underway.

Keeping these tips in mind can help ensure that your social media activity doesn’t harm you if you are involved in a legal suit, or at any other time, for that matter. If you are in doubt about how to proceed, set up a consultation with an attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in Fairfax, VA from May Law, LLP, to discuss your case and ways to lessen any potential future harm.