Social Media in Florida Domestic Violence Cases
Many people think of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms as a vehicle for expressing themselves. They can share their experiences, thoughts, and insights through many formats, including words, photos, images, and created content. What you may not realize is how far your posts can reach, which may be a specific concern if you’ve been accused of domestic violence. You may assume that your viewpoints, rants, and strong opinions were private when you only shared with specific users – but the exact opposite is true in many cases. Worse, you might not even know when or what content is presented in court to support the allegations against you.
Because of the potential penalties and threats to your personal freedoms, it’s essential to work with a Florida domestic violence defense lawyer if you’ve been served with legal documents. Some important information about social media in these cases may also help.
Social Media Posts are Evidence: Just as a written letter, note, or other document can be introduced in court, your social media content is also admissible as evidence under most circumstances. To understand the impact of this point, you should understand how Florida’s statute on domestic violence injunctions works. Your accuser can:
- File a petition;
- Appear in court;
- Argue the case to obtain a protective order against you; and,
- Have the judge enter an order requiring or prohibiting you from doing certain things…
… ALL without you even knowing about it. If your social media posts are presented as evidence with respect to any of these points, it’s as if you’re testifying without actually being present. Plus, you can be sure that your accuser will only include the content that reflects unfavorably.
A Warrant May Not Be Necessary for Public Social Media Posts: Only police are prohibited from obtaining evidence illegally. Your accuser is free to capture your content and use it in a domestic violence matter – and won’t need a warrant to obtain it. He or she effectively takes ownership and control over your public posts.
Deleting Your Social Media Posts Won’t Help Your Case: In fact, doing so could actually harm your interests. Deleting information may also lead to court sanctions because it might be considered destruction of evidence. Note that it’s almost impossible to completely erase all traces of a social media post that adversely affects your interests. You can adjust your privacy settings after you’re aware of the domestic violence accusations against you, but don’t take any further actions without first consulting with a lawyer.
Rely on a Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights
There’s a saying that the internet is forever, and the statement is arguably valid. However, you still have rights in a domestic violence matter or other criminal case. You can trust a skilled legal professional to aggressively fight for your interests and obtain the best possible outcome, so please contact Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney Kevin J. Kulik today. We can set up a free consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office to discuss your situation and explore potential defense strategies.