Don’t Let Facebook Wreck Your Chances in Court
The advent of the Internet has made information posted about anyone or anything almost instantly available to web searchers. But while the internet is a wealth of information, literally at your fingertips, it can also backfire on a person. Take social media, for example. Facebook is just one of the social media outlets that people use to share, communicate, and sometimes even to vent. But Facebook can also be used against you, particularly in legal matters. If you are involved in a court case, you need to be aware of how Facebook can damage your case.
Once a comment is posted on Facebook, or any one of dozens of social media venues, it is out there for anyone to see. In a court case, you have to be careful about what you say and to whom you say it, as it can and will be used against you if the situation dictates.
Social Media is an Investigator’s Dream Come True
Social media has become a gold mine for anyone looking to find out more about an individual. Prospective employers use it to find out more about applicants. Rental companies use it to research potential renters. So, it should come as no surprise that attorneys have the right to search your Facebook page to see if any information you are posting is pertinent to the case. If any is found, all they need do is print it out and incorporate it as evidence against you. This is why it is important to keep anything pertaining to a court case off of Facebook, or any other social media outlet.
How serious is this problem? Cases have literally been won, and lost, because of information gathered from the Facebook page of someone involved in a court action. But you also have to be careful how you police your account. If you have inadvertently posted something that could be construed as detrimental to your case, your attorney will counsel you on how you should handle the matter. You cannot simply remove the information.
Your Information May Not Be Yours to Alter
Individuals who delete information from social media accounts can be subject to fines and/or penalties imposed by the courts. This act may well be considered tampering with evidence and, in most states, is referred to as “spoliation.”
Your best course of action would be to consult with an attorney to see what your rights and responsibilities are in such a situation. He or she will advise you as to what you are legally required to do, and how to prevent your social media presence from determining the outcome of your case.
Aslin Tutuyan Understands the Law and Social Media
Aslin Tutuyan is a personal injury attorney with The Mandell Law Firm in Northridge. Mandell Law is an aggressive personal injury law firm serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area, and Southern California. Experienced and reputable, our attorneys provide hands-on care and sincere commitment to victims of accidents of all kinds. Contact Aslin Tutuyan for a free consultation at 818.866.6600.