You’re facing drug charges after an arrest. You got pulled over for breaking the speed limit and the police searched the car. They found what they claim were illegal drugs.
Now your case is moving forward. You’re an avid social media user, and you have been for years. But now you’ve been hearing that mistakes people make online can cost them in court.
It’s true. Remember that social media posts, photos and everything else can show up as evidence. More and more often, this is where people look. Some users have nearly every aspect of their lives online. You have to think carefully about what information you make public and what it means.
1. Don’t post direct evidence
This may seem obvious, but we need to cover it first because people still do it. A person should never post clear evidence of a crime on social media. This could include a photo of drug use, drug paraphernalia or even just suspicious items. You would be surprised by how often people put up compromising pictures, assuming only friends will see them, only to find out that they’re now public information.
2. Don’t talk about the case
When you get arrested, the police often tell you that you have the right to remain silent. They warn you that they can use what you say against you in court. Remember that the same is true for social media. If you write something about the case that accidentally incriminates yourself, you can’t take it back. The best bet, to help you avoid a critical mistake, is to keep complete radio silence regarding the case.
3. Be careful about compromising information
Remember that even things you post that do not directly reference something illegal may still be compromising to your position. For instance, maybe the police accused you of drug trafficking and selling the illegal drugs. You’re far too smart to post pictures of the drugs, but you post a picture of yourself with a large amount of cash. This can raise a lot of questions, even if you obtained it legally. They may think it came from a drug sale. That doesn’t mean it is true, but you want to carefully think about how everything may get interpreted and how that may make you look to the jury.
4. Never post when you’re feeling emotional
If you’re frustrated or angry about the arrest, the case or how the process is playing out, avoid social media. Emotional posts may go in a direction you’ll regret. Again, remember that you can never take back what you post. Even deleting your account may not help, and can, in some cases, get you into legal trouble.
Now that you know what not to do, make sure you are also well aware of what legal rights in Texas you have after an arrest.