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Making a Case Against Social Media: How Your Online Interactions Could Hurt Your Trial

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In our technology-driven society, social media has become a way of life. From what you had for lunch, to finding long lost friends, pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more are an outlet for sharing information, connecting with a wide variety of people, and staying current on news and events. However, the prevalence of social media can be the downfall of someone involved in a legal battle, specifically those facing divorce or accident cases, since these often involve multiple parties and can be emotionally charged. We advise our clients to limit information shared online, specifically within social media platforms. Why?

Once information is on the Internet, it is, in essence, public property. This content could be used  (potentially) as a tool against you by the legal team of the opposing party. Even information sent to someone directly can be monitored and used as evidence when done within social media or public platforms, so it’s best to keep your interactions face-to-face, or at the very least, over a phone call, when the information being discussed pertains to your case. With that being said, utilizing information pulled via social media sharing is a process that depends on multiple factors.

An attorney planning to use information pulled from the Internet (specifically from social media) must have proof that the social media account belongs to the person in question. This can usually be done by verifying login information, email addresses, etc. However, just because the account belongs to an individual is not a guarantee that someone else wasn’t using it to post the questionable content. To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was responsible for putting out specific information, multiple layers of authentication are necessary. Pulling IP addresses, comparing an alibi with computer records, and other forms of computer forensics are necessary to make a solid case using social media content as a form of evidence. But it can be done, and has been used in multiple cases over the last few years. How could this affect you? If you are ranting about your soon-to-be ex, sharing photos or information about your recent car accident, posting photos of sustained injuries, etc., you could be putting valuable information at risk, and you could end up with less-than-desirable results from your case. If you are in the middle of a trial, or even if you’re looking at one in the near future, limit your online sharing to things completely non-related to legal matters, or even better, cut back on social networking altogether until your trial is complete.

Sessums Law Group is skilled in getting the best possible results in each individual case that comes through our door, and by guiding our clients on the dos and don’ts of preparation for a trial, we make sure they get adequate compensation as they move forward. When the unexpected comes your way, Sessums Law Group STANDS FOR YOU!

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