The Impact of Social Media on Criminal Cases

Social media is a fact of modern life. In fact, it has been estimated that approximately 62% of the world’s population uses social media. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that social media can have an impact on criminal cases. If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s important to understand how your use of social media can affect your case. In this article, we examine the impact that social media can have on criminal cases. 


Prosecutors frequently rely on social media as a source of evidence in criminal cases. Messages, images, posts, and videos shared by persons involved in alleged criminal activities can serve as forms of evidence in court. Therefore, investigators, legal teams, and law enforcement often review social media platforms to gather evidence that may be relevant to criminal cases. 


Information posted on social media can also influence the course of investigations. Law enforcement officials often use social media to establish alibis, track movement, gather intelligence, and identify potential witnesses and suspects. Individuals who are involved in cases sometimes inadvertently reveal such information through their social media activity. 

Juror Behavior & Bias

In addition, social media usage by jurors and court officials can lead to issues regarding bias and impartiality. Jurors who engage in discussions about their cases on social media can compromise their impartiality and potentially affect the verdict. In addition, exposure to case information or preconceived notions affected by social media can influence the jury’s decision-making process.

Witnesses & Testimony

Finally, social media use by witnesses in a case can impact their testimony and credibility. Any interactions or posts that contradict their statements can raise questions about their credibility, which the opposing legal team can bring up in court. 

Tips for Social Media Use After an Arrest 

Following an arrest, it’s important to understand the ways that social media use can impact your case. If you are facing criminal charges, below are some tips for social media use to ensure that your case isn’t negatively impacted: 

  • Don’t delete any old posts—this can be viewed by the court as deleting evidence.
  • Adjust the privacy settings of your account to limit who can view your information.
  • Be cautious about accepting friend requests from individuals you don’t know.
  • Be mindful of what you post on social media after your arrest—the best policy is to refrain from posting altogether until your case has been resolved.
  • Don’t discuss your case on social media.
  • Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your presence on social media and how it may impact your case.

Contact a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Virginia, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At Walker Jones, PC, our experienced criminal defense lawyers understand the toll that a criminal conviction can take on you and your family. Therefore, when you come to us for assistance with your Virginia criminal case, we will aggressively defend you against your charges. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  

Posted in: Criminal Defense