These days, people share just about anything and everything on social media. No one is more aware of this than law enforcement, who has taken full advantage of users' openness to look for and collect evidence against them.

To make things as simple as possible, don't post anything to any social platforms during your case. Probably 90% of the problems that stem from social media could have been avoided if the user simply didn't post something. 

With that in mind, I've broken down some more detailed advice for those heading to trial:

1. Deactivate your accounts for the time being.

This is the easiest way to avoid all the problems social media can pose before and during your trial. Most social media platforms allow you deactivate or suspend your account temporarily. This is the easiest way to prevent past indiscretions, out of context quotes, and even photos from being used against you.

Here a few articles that will walk you through the process of deactivating your account on a few of the major social platforms:

How to deactivate Facebook →

How to deactivate Twitter →

How to deactivate Snapchat →

How to deactivate Instagram →

If you use other social platforms online, head over to, which will help you search for and delete other accounts you may have online.

While deactivating your accounts will protect much of what you post from view, it will not nessessarily shield posts from made by others or posts and comments you've made on others' content. With this in mind, the following tips can help mitigate further risks. 

2. Be careful about what you say.

Whether you're posting a status update, commenting on a friend's post, or engaging another way online, don't put anything out into the world that could potentially hurt your case.

Think about all of your posts in the context of your case and decide whether it has any bearing on the people involved or your demeanor in general. While it may seem absurd, even an emoji can be used against you in court. If in doubt, don't post it.

3. Be careful about what your friends and family say.

Despite their best intentions, posts by friends and family can also land you in trouble. Make sure those close to you aren't painting an unflattering picture of you or condracting your claims. 

4. Be very careful when posting photos.

A picture is worth a thousand words. But during a trial, those words can end up sabotaging your defense when they give prosecutors the evidence they need. Even a fun photo of your friends out on a night on the town can take a major turn if one of those friends is on probation and prohibited from imbibing.

Before posting anything, ask yourself: Would you want a police officer, probation officer or judge reviewing the photo? If the answer is no, don't post it.

5. Only post things you'd be comfortable saying in a court of law.

Many social media profiles are public and police officers, prosecuting attorneys and judges may be privy to what you post on your pages, and what is posted about you. Always ask yourself: could this be used against you?

The right to remain silent is a powerful tool that can mean the difference between an acquittal and a conviction. This right to remain silent extends to social media as well. Exercise this right. If you most post to social media, post as if everyone in court is watching.

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