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Six ways the prosecution will use evidence against you

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If you’re not careful as you navigate your criminal defense, then you could slip up in a way that puts you at risk of being convicted. Therefore, before engaging with the prosecution to see how you can resolve your case without trial or making the decision to take your case in front of a jury, you should fully assess your criminal defense options and the weaknesses you’ll face. Only then can you make the fully informed decision that you feel is in your best interest.

One often under-scrutinized aspect of a criminal case is the use of social media. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your social media use could pose a threat to your defense and thus your freedom.

How does social media negatively impact your criminal defense?

Social media can be a great outlet for finding support and venting your anger and frustrations. But you have to remember that the prosecution is going to vet your social pages to see if they can use them against you in some fashion. Here are some ways that they could use your social media posts:

  1. To contradict your testimony: Prosecutors will use your previous statements to contradict you, if they can. If they’re successful, then your credibility with the jury could be destroyed, and the reliability of your testimony may be drawn into question in the event that you decide to take the stand.
  2. To show that you’ve implicated yourself in the crime: Your social media posts will be twisted out of context. As a result, prosecutors might use your own words, photographs, and videos against you to try to show that you’ve admitted being involved in the crime in some way.
  3. To show that you have a bad character: A lot of character evidence is inadmissible at trial, but some of it could be presented. If you have unsavory social media posts, then the jury may end up seeing them, which will then give them doubt as to your innocence.
  4. To show motivation: Since social media is a forum for venting your frustrations, you might say things on there that you don’t mean. But when a criminal offense has occurred, prosecutors are going to take your words as a true reflection of your motivations and intent. So, if you’ve said something about the alleged victim on social media, it could be used to show that you were motivated to commit a crime against them.
  5. To show tampering with evidence or witnesses: If your social media posts attack witnesses or discuss physical evidence in the case, then you might be accused of illegally tampering either with those witnesses or that physical evidence. This could lead to additional criminal charges and could jeopardize your positioning in the underlying case.
  6. To identify other witnesses to testify against you: Your conversations with others on social media will give the prosecution reason to believe that you’ve discussed your criminal case with them. These individuals can then be deposed and subpoenaed to testify against you in your case.

You have enough to fight back against in your criminal case without having to fend off evidence that you handed to the prosecution. It’s important that you know how to avoid making yourself your own worst enemy.