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What you tweet may be used against you

Be careful what you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media site. Anything you say and any pictures you put up on the internet can become evidence against you in a criminal case.

A criminal charge is a serious matter, and sharing information about it on the internet could result in the loss of your freedom. Be aware of the effects of social media usage to avoid self-incrimination.

A great source of evidence

People post comments about all aspects of their lives online, from what the family is having for dinner to what kind of headgear they wore when they robbed the local convenience store. Some people cannot help bragging about their misdeeds, and when the information is out there in cyberspace, the prosecutor will most certainly use it against them.

No place to hide

You may realize too late that your social media postings could be problematic, so you delete the posts. Remember that they are still floating around somewhere in cyberspace, and forensic technology experts, who are often brought in for criminal cases, can locate them.

Sharing information appropriately

If you face criminal charges, be sure to tell your attorney about all your social media activity. Keep in mind that law enforcement officials use social media to track down criminals and gather information off their accounts, and the prosecution will collect that kind of information, too. You need to be up front with your attorney about your social media postings in order to avoid any surprises that could hurt your defense.

Keep your own counsel

What you say and to whom you say it will be vitally important to your case, including what you have already said on Facebook or Twitter. The best course of action from now on is to keep quiet on all fronts. You have constitutional rights while a criminal investigation is underway, and you can refuse to speak to the police. Posting updates about your case on your Facebook or Twitter account is not wise. Your lawyer is the only person you should discuss your case with-and you should not mention it on social media at all.

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
8630 Fenton St., Suite 320
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Office Number: 301-589-2100
Afterhours Number: 301-367-6500

Fax: 301-588-8848
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013