Understanding the Impact of Social Media on Domestic Violence Cases

Each domestic violence case is different, and the evidence against a person can have a tremendous impact on the outcome. Even if you’re facing charges that are identical to what someone else is facing, the outcome will likely be different. Even facts that initially seem small can have a big effect on the outcome.

This is especially true when social media is involved. Our experienced domestic violence defense attorneys know that cases involving social media and domestic violence can be nuanced. Here are some key takeaways.

Social Media Can Be Used as Evidence of Domestic Violence

Like in other proceedings in Texas, social media can be used as evidence of a crime—or to help disprove allegations (often called “exculpatory evidence”). Under the law, social media evidence must meet certain requirements in order to be admissible in court.

First, it must be relevant. That means it tends to make an important fact seem more or less probable than it would without evidence. For example, social posts about you volunteering for charity last year may be found not relevant. But social posts threatening your accuser may be found to be relevant.

Second, it must be authenticated. Your accuser can’t simply produce evidence of social media posts at trial and claim that you wrote them. They must give you a chance to review the posts and object to their authenticity.

Social Media Posts Aren’t Private

Remember that social media postings are not private, even if you use privacy settings to hide your posts from people who are not your “friends.”

Social media sites’ privacy policies warn users that these posts aren’t private. Prosecutors and police can obtain the legal permissions necessary to get your subscriber information, history and social media posts.

Make Good Choices About What You Post

There’s a saying that “the internet is forever.” Thanks to screenshots, digital recordkeeping and sites like the Wayback Machine, records of your online activity can exist long after you delete posts.

The best way to avoid getting into trouble for social media posting is to take a deep breath before you type something. Calm down and consider the potential consequences. However, everyone makes mistakes. If something you posted could get you in trouble, talk with an attorney right away.

Have Questions? Reach Out for Legal Support.

To get the legal help you need, call our Fort Worth lawyers at 817-678-6771 or email us. Consultations are free and confidential.

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