Being charged with a crime is a frightening experience and talking about it is dangerous! Consequently, the first line of defense in any criminal case is excercising your right to remain silent . . . and we mean silent! When potential clients call we advise each person: “Do not speak to anyone on this planet about your case.” Of equal importance? “Deactivate all your Internet social media websites.”
This is critically important since everything you say about your case to anyone, except your criminal defense lawyer, can be used against you in court. Even your parents can be subpoenaed to testify against you. Photographs on the Internet can be used to incriminate someone. Text messages, emails, and blog posts can be admitted into evidence to prove guilt. Posting facts about your case on legal forums is equally dangerous. It makes our job defending clients more difficult after they’ve talk about their case or have incriminating “party” photographs on Facebook, and the like. Interestingly, folks believe they’re the exception to the rule and prosecutors would never examine their social media sites. This simply isn’t true. Facebook has morphed into a tool enabling law enforcement to track someone’s every move. In fact, Facebook can be better than GPS tracking. It allows the police to trace you online. They see where you’re tagged and what your status updates say about your activity and location.
If you have a criminal charge pending, be smart, and don’t go to jail over Facebook. Exercise your right to silence and speak to no one, except your lawyer. Deactivate all your Internet social media accounts to prevent the government from tracing your moves. And finally, contact a Bryan|College Station criminal defense lawyer immediately to begin mounting your defense.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.