Impact of Social Media on Criminal Trials in Georgia

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Social media is a major contender in the courtroom. You might have something displayed on your feed, like a noticeable mistake, that could subvert your defense in a criminal case. When you hire an experienced Carrollton criminal defense attorney, they will give you legal advice to keep you from making those mistakes. Moffitt Law LLC represents you in all aspects of the criminal defense process, providing advocacy in court and tactical advice outside of it. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Prosecutor Can Use Your Posts Against You

You can expect that words you have spoken and things you have said can come into play in a criminal trial. Prosecutors would likely have conducted an extensive search of your social media to learn anything that you may have said. Even if you have deleted posts, finding them is not necessarily out of the reach of prosecutors. As the adage goes, anything that you say can and will be used against you.

Social media can be very powerful evidence in a criminal case. Even when you thought saying something on social media was harmless, it can be anything but. You may be stunned to learn that what you said is now in the prosecutor’s hands, and they are preparing to use it as evidence at trial.

There Are Limits on What Evidence May Be Used

However, there are limits to what law enforcement can do to obtain your social media posts. Your Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures still apply to your case. If law enforcement wants to obtain access to your messages on social media, they would need to obtain a warrant and subpoena the information. You may move to suppress certain evidence if it was wrongfully seized. If law enforcement executes an illegal search and seizure, you may have the evidence thrown out.

There may also be challenges that the prosecutor may face in authenticating social media evidence that they are using against you. These challenges can be even more pronounced in the age of artificial intelligence and deep fakes. Prosecutors may be trying to use evidence against you that is entirely fake, and they may not even know it. You may need expert witness testimony to attack some of the social media evidence being used against you. At the same time, they may have expert witnesses who are arguing in favor of admission.

Do Not Post About Your Case

Although you may feel the need to be heard, and justify your actions, a criminal trial is not the time to speak your piece outside of the courtroom. When in doubt, it is simply better not to say anything. Your own words can come back to negatively impact your criminal defense, and it is simply not worth it. Any lawyer would advise you not to post anything on social media about your legal situation or your thoughts on the matter. You will have a chance to testify on the matter in court.

Social media can also impact a trial in other ways. If a case has received a significant amount of publicity, including coverage on social media, it could be harder to choose a jury at all. In some cases, witnesses or jurors may share information about the case over social media, impacting the trial. If a juror or witness has posted on social media during the trial, your lawyer may even move for a mistrial.

Contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a crime, Moffitt Law LLC can protect your legal rights and work towards getting you the best possible outcome for your case. The first step is to speak to an attorney during a free initial consultation, and it is something that you need to schedule immediately. You can send us a message through our website or call us at 762-200-2924.

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