As more and more people across the United States use various social media platforms to document their daily lives, it is not surprising that people put photos of themselves online engaging in illegal behaviors, such as drinking or doing drugs. Teenagers and young adults, in particular, seem to be especially vulnerable to this need to broadcast every aspect of their lives online, which can land them in a great deal of trouble.
Individuals who are already facing drug-related criminal charges generally should refrain from posting pictures of themselves using or displaying illegal drugs. If individuals are on probation or pre-trial release, they could face additional charges or probation violations if law enforcement authorities see their posts. As most law enforcement agencies now regularly monitor social media accounts to obtain evidence against individuals, they should be increasingly careful about what they choose to share online.
Furthermore, even if individuals are not facing criminal charges, displaying large quantities of illegal drugs or highlighting drug use can lead to constant surveillance by law enforcement. If these individuals are involved in drug possession or distribution, their social media presence can give law enforcement officials a strong indicator that they are engaged in criminal activity.
Likewise, continually displaying large amounts of cash, flashy cars and jewelry, and expensive trips also can be red flags to police that individuals are engaged in illegal dealings. Since an unemployed person usually does not have such a large cash flow, social media posts can be instrumental in alerting police to illicit activities.
Despite what many people think, prosecutors can and do use social media as evidence in criminal cases. Although the rules of evidence concerning social media posts still are evolving, linking people to their social media profile is often not too challenging. These social media posts have the potential to constitute evidence used to convict you on criminal charges.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to assisting individuals in resolving their criminal charges. We know that criminal proceedings can be intimidating and overwhelming for those who are facing potential penalties for criminal charges. We will work with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.