Can police use my social media as evidence?
As a criminal defense attorney in Stockton and Modesto I have had many experiences with defendants that decided it was a good idea to post videos and pictures of themselves either committing crimes or bragging about having committed a crime. Most of the time public social media evidence will be admissible. Even if it isn’t posted it publicly the police department may seize the client’s cell phone and download the contents, including text messages and DM’s.
One of the most common examples that we see are individuals on probation or parole flashing their guns on Instragram or Snap Chat. Probation and Parole monitor those accounts searching for violations of probation and are quick to file a violation of probation.
We recently handled a 5 co-defendant case where Modesto Police Department was monitoring Snap Chat and found recent posts of the defendants in a Modesto bar parking lot flashing guns. Modesto PD found them (still in the parking lot) and arrested them. Luckily for our guy we were able to obtain a low level misdemeanor and the dismissal of his other cases, whereas his co-defendants were fighting felony charges.
If you want to make your defense lawyer’s job difficult then go ahead and post evidence of your criminal activity on social media!