If you are like many people, you are active on at least one social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram are just four of the most popular. Needless to say, the list is growing, but your love for social media could end up hurting you if you are arrested on suspicion of any crime, including drug crimes.
Maybe you posted a picture two years ago of you and a friend, and you did not realize marijuana joints were in the background or that the picture showed underage people drinking. Perhaps the photo is a friend's, and an extreme zoom in would show someone who looks like you taking drugs. These posts give police and prosecutors some ammunition to work with and names of people to contact in a drug case
In some cases, people have posted pictures of themselves drinking beer minutes before being arrested for DUI; timestamps verify the chronology. This is less likely with drug cases, but a status update such as, "Headed out to party!" or "Going out to get high!" can hurt you. Deleting a post or restricting access to just friends is far from foolproof because someone only needs to take a screenshot and send it to officials.
Also, you have little control over what other people post. Review pictures from outings that your friends post, and ask them to delete any that seem incriminating. It is best to just agree with your friends to not take pictures or, at least, to not post them. Otherwise, the consequences could be severe.
The timeline is another way that social media can cause complications in a case. For instance, if you say you were at Chad's house at 10:00 p.m. and took nothing all night, but a post at that time shows you at Jill's house, what then? Social media makes it easy to be caught in a lie or for simple forgetfulness to give law enforcement the wrong idea.
Posting after an arrest
Don't post about an arrest or criminal charges. I f you post an update such as, "Got arrested on bogus drug charges!" on your social media, you open yourself up to people making comments to the contrary, even if they are in jest. A reply such as, "Bogus? Ha! " only helps police.
What should you do if you are facing drug charges?
Being arrested or charged with a crime is intimidating, especially when you may have been careless with social media. Consulting an attorney helps ensure that your rights are protected.