Social media activity might hurt your case when facing criminal charges. Americans have some protections under the Unlawful Access to Stored Communications Act for restricted or private content. However, courts generally accept any public posts on social media as evidence.
To protect yourself during this time, there are some steps you should take regarding social media. Exercise caution, though, because specific actions might put you in danger of sanctions.
Do Not Delete Evidence
You might face the temptation to delete all your accounts. However, depending on your situation, this is not necessarily the best option. Deleting an account is illegal if your social media displays potential evidence. However, deactivating an account might be a good idea to avoid the temptation of further posting. Remember never to destroy evidence, and consult with your legal team if you have any doubts.
Tell Your Friends to Stop Tagging You
Tell everyone you know to stop tagging or posting about you. Unfortunately, this part is mainly out of your control, as it relies on other people to act in good faith. Explain to your acquaintances that posting information about you is not only dangerous for your sake. They face potential repercussions for social media activity that implicates them as well.
Set Your Account to Private
It does not hurt to set your account to private, but law enforcement still has access to your friends’ less private profiles or posts. The only thing you can do is disengage and avoid implicating yourself. Turn off your notifications and follow the advice of your legal counsel.
Your activity on social media is fair game for prosecutors. Do not concern yourself with previous activity. Instead, focus on the present and avoid social media going forward.