How Social Media Can Affect A Criminal Case

social media and criminal defense casesSocial media is the new way of communicating and it is important for people to understand the legal implications of using these platforms. When statements or photos are posted on the internet, they are rarely completely private – even if you can manage to navigate through all the privacy settings.

Last month, social media played a big role in the conviction of two Steubenville, OH teenagers. In this case, the police and prosecutors used cell phone pictures, text messages and social media posts to establish their rape case. The victim was intoxicated and unable to remember the events of that evening. Social media helped the prosecutors fill in the blanks of what happened to her.

Today, two teenage girls are in front of the same court for threatening the victim in the rape case over Twitter. They sent these messages on the day the two teenage boys were convicted in the rape case. These girls now face a felony charge and 2 misdemeanor charges for these statements. Criminal convictions can have serious consequences for these two young women. Should schools play a bigger role in teaching our youth about these consequences? Should Twitter, Facebook and other popular social media platforms have stricter policies or age limitations?

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