How Your Social Media Posts can be Used Against You in a Criminal Case

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “When can I post on Social media about my ongoing case?”


The vast majority of American adults use at least one social media platform every single day. However, did you know that your social media use could potentially be used against you in a criminal case?

keyboard-and-mouse-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Criminal-Defense-300x181Your social media posts are available to everyone, including the prosecutor. Today, we will discuss how your social media posts could get you in trouble if you were arrested or charged with a crime in North Carolina. Also, cases when social media posts result in arrests are not unheard of.

Fact: Law enforcement agencies can use the information available on social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, to make arrests.

Previously, we discussed how social media presents opportunities for self-incrimination.


Posting on Social Media Before the Arrest

Police departments in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina rely on social media sites to search for suspects and make arrests. Also, social media platforms are used by police to collect sufficient evidence against a suspect to warrant an arrest.

In North Carolina, police departments use social media accounts to collect evidence through:

  • Posts on the page of the suspect, their friend, family member, suspected accomplice, or another individual to find out about their possible involvement in illegal activity;
  • Status updates showing the suspect’s current location; and
  • Photos and videos indicating that the suspect was involved in illegal activity or committed a crime.

Since everything you post on social media can be used against you in a criminal case, it is always advised to change your privacy settings so that only your followers can see what you post. In addition, always think about the possible repercussions before posting anything online. It might also be useful to use VPN services to protect yourself from snooping.

Previously, we discussed how police departments use facial recognition software to scan social media sites.


Posting on Social Media After the Arrest

If you have already been arrested in Charlotte or other parts of North Carolina, posting on social media could have even more repercussions. Anything you post on social media after your arrest can be used against you during your criminal case.

Since all your social media posts are admissible as evidence in North Carolina courts, it is advised to refrain from posting on social media altogether. If possible, stop posting anything online while your criminal case is pending.

Also, it would not be a good idea to delete the content you have shared on your social media accounts because doing so would be deemed suspicious. Keep in mind that anything you “delete” is never actually erased entirely, and there are tools to recover deleted content.

If you were arrested in connection with a crime, tell your friends and family members to stop commenting on your posts and even mentioning or tagging you on social media platforms. Anything they post about you or your case could also be used against you in court.

If you fear that your social media posts could be used against you in your criminal case, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Charlotte to address state criminal charges. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to consult with one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys, who will review your particular situation and determine what your options are. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.






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