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The Linder Firm Sept. 14, 2017

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, the social conduct handbook needs to be rewritten. Online behavior is a relatively new area of concern which people like you and me are still learning to navigate. And if these new rules aren’t followed properly, the effects can be devastating.

Maybe you’ve come across this in your own life. A coworker bad-mouthed your boss on Facebook and ended up getting fired. Or a friend who told you that they couldn’t attend your party due to a family matter displayed that they were out on the town all over Snapchat. Whatever the case may be, what you say and do on social media is widely available and public.

This is why proper online behavior is extremely important if you’ve been accused of a drug crime.

Direct Admissions

A surefire way to land in legal trouble is an obvious direct admission. Posting a Facebook status about doing drugs, a Snapchat story where you’re smoking marijuana, or an Instagram photo of your paraphernalia are admissible in a court of law. That means that anything you post on a social media account or online forum can and will be used against you.

Avoiding this is simple: Be careful about what you post! Keep your social media accounts free of these details.

Who You Like, Follow, and Are Friends With

Even if you’ve never posted anything about illegal activities on your own page, you’re not entirely out of the woods. If you’ve been accused of a drug crime, a prosecutor will check all of your social media accounts for evidence. And if you follow accounts that advocate, sell, or promote drug use, you could land in hot water.

This applies to your “Friends,” too. Even if you’ve never posted anything on your own account about illegal activities, commenting on a friend’s post, letting them tag you, or appearing in a lot of their photos or posts can give fodder to a prosecutor.

The solution? Unfollow, unfriend, or block any accounts that might associate you with something you don’t want to be associated with. Ask your friends not to tag you on social media, and do not comment on or “like” things posted by suspicious-looking accounts. Staying as far away from these as possible will help your case.

Location Updates

The location is visible in this Facebook post.

Many social media platforms allow users to update their location and post it publicly. This can come in the form of Facebook Check-ins, Snapchat GeoTags, and Instagram locations. And sometimes, your location is posted whether you meant to post it or not.

Facebook can automatically display where you were when you made a post, which can give your followers information about your location and the time you were at a location. This can be incriminating, as it provides a time and location stamp about your activities.

The solution: Don’t post your location and adjust your Facebook and Twitter settings to not detail where you are.

The Wrap-Up

It’s easy to forget that what you say and do online is public knowledge. State and federal courts are now using social media posts as evidence. Something as small and seemingly innocent as a Facebook post can be your ticket to jail time.

So it’s important that you conduct your online behavior with tact and know that anything you post can be used against you. Be careful about what you post, stay away from accounts that could link you to illegal activities, and make sure that your location does not place you in a spot where they’re occurring. Keeping your social media profiles clean can mean the difference between innocent and guilty.

Texas Drug Attorney Phillip Linder

If you’ve been accused of a drug crime in the Dallas, TX, area, you need a good attorney. Phillip A. Linder is an experienced Texas drug lawyer and can help you avoid jail time and retain your freedom. Call Phillip Linder NOW if you’ve been accused of drug possession or distribution—he’ll make sure you have the best possible defense on your side.