Social Media Can Negatively Affect Your Case

Posted March 3rd, 2016 by .

Categories: Legal Topics.

social media legal cases anthony carboneWhether you are involved in a criminal case or some type of lawsuit, you should be aware.  Social media can negatively affect your case.  Those seemingly innocent posts on Facebook or innocuous tweets may be a grave cause for concern.  Don’t believe us?  Consider these real live cases that were impacted by social media.

Detectives used Social Media as an Investigation Tool

An Appellate court decision at the end of last year included some insight into how detectives use social media as an investigation tool.  In State v. Reevy (NJ App. Div: 2015),  the defendant was on trial for murder.  An eyewitness identified Reevy after looking through a series of mugshot photos.  Surveillance videos in the area of the crime scene captured someone who resembled the defendant.  The videos were a bit blurry and it was difficult to positively identify Reevy.  The investigating detective testified that he used social media to find photographs that would show similarities in personal appearance.

Family Cases Matters and Social Media

There are many reasons to avoid social media posts if you are involved in a family law matter.  Does your divorce decree contain language that your alimony is contingent on you remaining single?  Think ahead when you post your wedding date.  After all, even the best made plans can be broken and you may unnecessarily find yourself back in court.

For some seeking support, it is difficult to find proof of assets.  This was an issue in Fitzgerald v. Duff, (NJ App Div: 2013).  When the mother sought child support for her child, the father presented financials showing limited resources.  His social media posts bragged of purchase of a boat that slept twelve.  The father also posted other information demonstrating that he was a bit more successful than he presented to the court.

Do the Severity of Your Injuries Conflict with Social Media Posts?

First, it should be clear that New Jersey attorneys must follow certain ethical guidelines regarding using social media as an investigation tool.  For example, they cannot send you a “friend” request without revealing their relationship to your case.  However, if your privacy settings give them free access, you need to frankly fix them, immediately.

Here is how we see it.  Consider your social media posts as a looking glass into your daily activities.  If you are claiming that you have suffered incapacitating personal injuries, you may have to explain the Instagram photos depicting you skiing in Colorado.  Be prepared that anything you post publically is fair game.

Contact Us

Involved in some type of legal matter and need guidance?  At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have extensive experience with personal injury, family and criminal matters.  Contact us to see if we can assist you with your case.

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