If you are arrested for any crime, the first thing that you need to do is to contact a criminal defense attorney who can work in your best interests. Whether you are innocent or guilty, this is an essential step to protect yourself. You then need to consider your next actions very carefully since mistakes can cost you dearly.
With social media’s increasing presence in everyone’s daily life, it may seem like posting on social media is a good idea in such a situation, but it rarely is. Live tweeting an arrest won’t do you any favors! Neither will long, angry rants. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts for using social media if you have been arrested.
Do Keep in Mind That Private Profiles Aren’t Truly Private
You may feel safe posting on Facebook if your posts all have the privacy setting of “friends only.” However, no social media profile is truly private. You don’t really know how safe your information is even among friends who appear to truly care, and it is easy for people with nefarious intentions to send you a friend request under the pretense of being someone else. Consider anything you post to be public.
Don’t Delete Posts Without Seeking the Advice of Your Attorney
Some people act out of fear after an arrest, and they may try to completely scrub their social media accounts of all information. Deleting all your posts after an arrest can make you look like you have something to hide, and you may even delete a post that you could help you establish an alibi. Don’t do it without first asking your criminal defense attorney whether it is a good idea in your situation.
Do Remember That Anything You Post May Be Used Against You
On the other hand, you need to be careful about the posts you make going forward. If another friend is posting about the incident and proclaiming your innocence, you may want to reply with gratitude and express your agreement. However, any little post can be used against you, and you don’t know who will have access to posts made on a friend’s page.
Don’t Trash the Officers, Prosecutor, or Others Associated with the Case
If you feel that you were unfairly arrested, it can be so tempting to share how outraged you feel with your eager audience on social media. You may want to even post video footage of the arrest, if any exists, to show that your side of the story is right. Don’t do it. You will have your day in court, or your lawyer will settle in your best interests before then. Either way, you win nothing by talking trash online.
Do Stick to Established Facts if You Must Post on Social Media
Despite the warnings to keep posts about the pending charges off social media, some people feel that they absolutely must state something about it to their social media followers. If you feel like you have to post about the problem online, make sure that you stick to only the facts that are clearly established. Go with the facts of the matter that the prosecutor agrees on, and keep it as neutral as possible.
Finally, keep in mind that it is important to stay focused on doing the right things in your life after an arrest. You may be held to an even higher standard for your conduct in the days and months following an arrest for a crime. If you’re in doubt on what you should do or post after an arrest, contact your criminal defense lawyer at for help and guidance on what your next moves should be.