Your Facebook Posts Could Come Back to Haunt You in the Court of Law

Posts on social networking sites are now regularly popping up as evidence in courtrooms across the country.

Plaintiff 101 Karen Mertes

According to Ian Friedman, past president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, social media evidence has become a critical element in an increasing number of court cases.

In many cases, searching people’s social networking, combing though some of what they’ve shared with the rest of the world, is almost the first place we look anymore,” said Friedman.

You never know how defense attorneys could take something out of context and spin the information to hurt your case.

For example, a plaintiff in a slip-and-fall personal injury case shouldn’t be seen dancing in a video on Facebook. Along those lines, a plaintiff who was a victim in a drunk driving accident shouldn’t post pictures on Instagram involving any social drinking. These could all be used by the defense to argue that the plaintiffs didn’t sustain the damages they are claiming they did.

So, stay off all social media during an ongoing case. Assume any statement or picture you post will be examined by opposing counsel and introduced at trial.

Once you put something out on the Internet, it’s there forever,” said Hamilton Police Lt. Carl Sigmon. “You need to be careful about what you actually put on the Internet because you never know where it’s going to wind up.”

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