The Police & Prosecutors 💖 Social Media

Social Media Police

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The number of social media users has exploded over the past decade. Seven out of ten United States residents have at least one social media account. Facebook alone has over two billion users, and Twitter has over 320 million. That doesn’t even include Instagram, Snap Chat, TikTok, and others, whose combined usage accounts for billions more social media users. Almost everyone has a computer or cellphone and is using them to share details that could impact your case.

With a subpoena, everything could become available to law enforcement, even private account details. Your personal information, who you associate with, images, and videos, party invitations, and anything else you can think of are available. Some folks with an entrepreneurial spirit are even accused of using social media as a tool to sell drugs (click here). As you read on, you will see why this is a terrible idea.

The police see social media as a tool to harvest vast amounts of information for law enforcement investigations. Police investigators now routinely run multiple and comprehensive searches on the internet using software that is far more advanced than what is available to the public. The estimates are that four in five police departments now use various social media as a tool in criminal investigations. A survey of over 1,221 federal, state, and local law enforcement shows that 90% of law enforcement officials use social media during investigations.

Big Tech does not keep secrets

Social Media is not your friend

Social media platforms such as the Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram) will cooperate with investigations. They will respond to subpoenas, court orders, or search warrants (and so-called “emergency situations” without either) by handing over your content. Setting your accounts to “private” does not help. Your data is still readily available to law enforcement. Police investigators or District Attorneys who believe you may have posted relevant information to an ongoing investigation may obtain a search warrant to seize your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account without notifying you or your lawyer.

Investigators also use ‘phone dumps’ with specifically designed forensic software. They are easily able to bypass most security measures and can make a complete copy of everything on your phone. With all these options, investigators have access to all of your social media. They also have access to texts, calls, messaging, call history, pictures, videos, and movement tracking.

What are some of the things Prosecutors are looking for on Social Media?

  • Prove you were at or near a specific location at a specific date and time.
  • Show you are associated with known criminals.
  • Show you are associated with witnesses or defendants.
  • Develop motive.
  • Use your words/posts against you.

This is why it is so important to stay off social media if you are accused of a crime. Even if you don’t say anything, your friends and family may not be as sensible. So, don’t post, don’t engage, just go silent. Social media can also provide an alibi. This is a great reason to let your attorney look at your social media after an arrest. If you think there might be something that could incriminate you, be sure to notify your defense attorney right away. We will take every step we can to minimize the damage as much as possible.

Racine officials: 4 arrested, 3 wanted. Allegedly using Social Media to sell drugs–drug-dealers-arrested-in-racine-after-officials-say-they-used-snapchat-to-conduct-business

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