Navigating the legal process can be a complex and sensitive undertaking, especially when seeking post-conviction relief. One important piece of advice that often gets overlooked is the necessity of staying off social media during this critical time.
Whether you’re appealing a federal felony case, seeking a pardon or otherwise attempting to clear your good name, what you post on social media can potentially be used to undermine the strength of your position. Even if all you post is “innocent” content, you know better than most that one misinterpreted statement or picture twisted against your position could cost you the outcome you desire.
Why make this temporary sacrifice?
While you’re navigating the evolution of your legal situation, your legal team should be working diligently to build a strong case for your post-conviction relief. Posting about your case on social media can inadvertently interfere with their strategy, potentially undermining your efforts to secure a favorable outcome.
Anything that you post on social media is accessible to the public, in addition to prosecutors, law enforcement agents and investigators. Negative publicity can harm your reputation, whereas maintaining a low profile can help to protect your image and privacy.
If you feel that you cannot fully sever your ties to social media at this time when you need all the support that you can get, remember that anything you post on social media can be used against you, at least to some degree. Even innocent or unrelated posts can be misconstrued or taken out of context, potentially reinforcing the perception of guilt in the eyes of the law.
When you’re tempted to log on – and especially if you’re tempted to post – remember that holding back now is a small sacrifice for the opportunity to secure justice and reclaim your life.