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Social media can hurt your college kid's criminal defense

Your son or daughter, your pride and joy, left the nest and went off at college. Like most young adults, he or she is probably checking and posting to social media sites throughout the day. Some of his or her posts might be questionable in nature since everyone makes mistakes from time to time. When a mistake lands him or her in a North Carolina jail, those social media postings could end up hurting his or her criminal defense.

College kids who are facing criminal charges have a lot to lose. They are young and still have their whole lives ahead of them. They may have to rethink their plans, though, if they are convicted, have to spend time in jail and are kicked out of school. They do not need anything out there for the world to see that can help the court view them in a negative light. Social media responsibility is necessary, but is something many people fail to practice.

The admissibility of social media posts

Many people view social media posts to be their private property. In a way that is true, but when posts are public, it means anyone has access to them including law enforcement investigators. Publicly posted social media content that is relevant to your child's case may end up used against him or her in court.

According to a judge who served on the bench in another state for 28 years, accounts are traceable, pictures and videos are pretty clear, and those who are willing to post questionable behavior need to be ready to accept the consequences. A few examples of social media posts hurting criminal cases include:

  • A young man arrested for possession of a firearm may claim the gun is not his, but pictures of him holding the same gun are on his Facebook page.
  • A young woman arrested for DUI may claim she was not drinking, but a picture on Instagram showed her with an alcoholic beverage in hand at a local bar the night of her arrest.
  • A young man facing traffic violation charges may claim innocence, but a live video feed of the events in question posted to his social media account suggest otherwise.

Before a jury can see social media posts, officials must authenticate them and prove they are relevant to your child's case.

You can get through this

If your college-aged child is facing criminal charges, you both may feel like your world is crashing down. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you through this difficult time and will work to help your child achieve the best outcome possible.

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