In this constantly evolving age of technology, social media has become an ordinary part of our everyday lives. They allow people to connect, reconnect, and share information from all corners of the world. People very freely share information, pictures, and other private and personal things. But sometimes people share too much. That is why social media is a prime place for law enforcement and government agencies to not only engage and share their own important information but also locate incriminating information and evidence.
Law enforcement can leverage social media to share content that may help keep people safe. Social media is often utilized to reach whole communities at once for important real-time information (e.g. Amber Alerts, severe weather warnings, etc.) But law enforcement can also collect information that is key in building a case against a suspect or finding the necessary evidence to secure a conviction. Sometimes criminals will – without thinking of potential consequences – post incriminating videos, or even videos of criminal acts on social media.
Evidence of Criminal Acts
While some crimes are extremely horrific, such as live-streamed homicides, the most commonly reported crime found on social media has to do with bullying, harassment, threats, or even online stalking. Others include fraud and hacking, such as impersonating someone or fraudulently signing into someone else’s accounts. These acts can actually be punishable similar to fraud.
It is also important that individuals think long and hard before they post anything. Sometimes the information that is shared can be used to a criminal’s advantage. If someone posts that they are on vacation, going to be on vacation, tags the location, or posts pictures or videos of themselves out somewhere, they become the next easy target for a criminal or burglar. When you share with the world that you are going to be away, it practically provides criminals with a blueprint for when to target your home.
Finally, it is imperative that people understand that not everything is legal just because it is found online. If people use social media to connect and establish a criminal business arrangement, such as buying drugs or other illegal or banned products, it is still illegal. Acts that are illegal offline do not become okay simply because they are completed online. If anything, conducting such transactions online only makes it easier for law enforcement to obtain a tangible piece of evidence against you.
Arizona Lawyers Helps Those in Phoenix Who Have Been Charged with Social Media Crime
Being charged with – let alone convicted of – a social media crime can have many long-lasting effects on you and your family. That is why if you or a loved one has been charged with a social media crime it is so important that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. The experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorneys at Arizona Lawyers will fight to minimize – or even eliminate – the charges against you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!