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3 negative effects of social media on a criminal case

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In the digital age, social media is now an integral part of life, influencing how people connect, share and express themselves.

However, what many fail to realize is that this constant online interaction can significantly impact real-world scenarios, especially when it comes to pending criminal charges. Understanding the potential pitfalls is important for anyone facing legal proceedings.

1. Public perception and prejudice

When facing criminal charges, public perception plays a role in how your case unfolds. Social media can turn into a double-edged sword, shaping opinions that may influence the court of public opinion. Posting content related to your case or personal life can lead to premature judgments, potentially impacting the jury pool and court proceedings.

2. Admissible evidence

Prosecutors are increasingly using social media content as admissible evidence in court. They scrutinize pictures, posts and messages to use against you, even if intended for a different audience. What you share online might inadvertently provide the prosecution with ammunition, so exercising caution and restraint is necessary.

3. Witness credibility

Social media can also impact the credibility of witnesses involved in your case. Opposing parties may scour online platforms for inconsistencies or contradictory statements made by witnesses. A witness whose online presence contradicts their courtroom testimony may find their credibility called into question, affecting the overall strength of your defense.

Over the past five years, the Western Judicial Circuit in Georgia has seen a 6% increase in its caseloads. Knowing that the legal process takes time, being mindful of your online presence is a proactive step toward safeguarding your interests and ensuring a fair legal process.